Become a GFFS Coach to Help Restaurants Be Safely Gluten-Free
Published May 2021
Do you, or a loved one, need to eat gluten-free and have limited choices in your neighborhood? Do you have to be careful when eating out and wish more restaurants knew what it takes to serve a safe, gluten-free meal? If so, you may be what you’re community needs!
We’re excited to announce the GFFS Coaching Program, a new initiative from Gluten-Free Food Service. We are offering extensive training to individuals with a knowledge of living gluten-free that would like to become “Coaches” to local restaurants that are going through the GFFS Validation Program. GFFS validates Gluten Free Safe Spots to provide individuals, like you, with the reassurance that they are following safe processes and procedures when claiming to offer gluten-free meals.
GFFS history and purpose
The Gluten-Free Food Service Validation Program (GFFS) is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a non-profit organization that has been serving the needs of the gluten-free community for over 47 years. GIG is also the organization behind Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) that has been certifying gluten-free products since 2005.
GFFS began working in 2014 to validate the policies and procedures of food service establishments to make sure they meet gluten-free safety criteria; to set up in-house staff training to ensure policies and procedures are carried out properly and effectively; and to formally audit establishments on an annual basis before renewing their validation. GFFS is currently working with over 364 active validated food establishments across the country and world, including both individual, local ones and major chains.
Why a GFFS Coaching program?
The GFFS Coaching Program was recently introduced to do three things:
- Provide restaurants with the additional support they’ve requested — and need — as they go through the GFFS Validation Program.
- Establish a local contact to help GFFS better serve communities and neighborhoods by expanding the gluten-free eating options available in the area.
- Build relationships with people who are passionate about living gluten-free and provide them with extensive training and a potential way to generate a side income.
What does the GFFS Coaching program entail?
GFFS-trained Coaches will be trained on:
- Interacting with local restaurants to establish a coaching relationship.
- Key, science-based information about gluten-free food safety, cross-contact, and other restaurant-specific issues.
- The proprietary, reliable process that GFFS uses to validate restaurants.
- GFFS criteria for establishing proper gluten-free policies and procedures and correcting potential or existing issues.
- Setting up an in-house, restaurant-specific staff training program to ensure all existing and new employees receive consistent, accurate information.
- Properly auditing a restaurant’s policies, procedures, training program, and kitchen to ensure the validation is warranted.
Who is the ideal GFFS Coach?
The ideal GFFS coach should have some experience with gluten avoidance such as a person with celiac disease or NCGS or someone caring for someone who is living gluten-free or a dietitian, nutritionist, or someone who works with food. Experience working in a restaurant or a food service establishment is helpful, however, not required.
The GFFS Coaching Program provides training on proper policies and procedures restaurants need to establish to be validated gluten-free.
What does the training cost, and what is provided?
The program cost is a $1000 investment for extensive training and ability to recoup the investment in a potentially short amount of time. There is a $150 annual coach renewal fee, offset by increased revenue potential.
The training includes 7 learning modules consisting of:
- Written materials
- Quizzes and tests
- Role-playing sessions
- Several live, interactive sessions with the manager of the GFFS program, Lindsey Yeakle
What is the earning opportunity for GFFS Coaches?
Coaches receive a 35% commission for each restaurant they introduce into the GFFS Validation Program that follows through and completes the program. They also receive a commission annually when the restaurant renews. The validation fees to the restaurants are based on standard criteria including type of restaurant (fully gluten-free versus mixed use) and the number of locations. Some coaches have the potential opportunity to earn additional flat fees for auditing already established GFFS-Validated restaurants in their local area.
How is the GFFS Validation Program and Coaching Program different from others?
There are currently no other organizations that offer a comparable comprehensive gluten-free validation process for restaurants that audits policies, procedures, and staff training. Most organizations offering gluten-free training serve individuals rather than businesses. A few provide restaurant-specific services as a high-level offering rather than their core service. Very few offer extensive training to individuals to assist restaurants in setting up their gluten-free policies and procedures. The prices of those who do train “coaches” or “trainers” start at $500 for smaller programs.
We’re just getting started and welcome your questions and feedback!
The GFFS Coaches Program is at the earliest stages of rollout are continuously reviewing questions from those who are inquiring about the training. We not only want to answer them fully, but also use them as guides for regularly improving the program and how we communicate about it. We remain open and flexible as we shape this program to not only serve our clients (the restaurants) but to serve our Coaches in a thoughtful, respectful, and supportive manner.
Interested in learning more about becoming a GFFS Coach? Know someone who might be a perfect fit?
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