#1 “I will get very sick if gluten comes in contact with my meal.”
Sometimes restaurants have different means of food preparation when they know it is for a medical need, or “food allergy,” as it is usually considered. You can throw the word allergy in there if you must – it couldn’t hurt.
#2 “Tell me about the precautions you take to ensure my meal stays gluten free. Will it be made separately from shared surfaces and dishes that contain gluten?”
Knowledge is power. Restaurants who understand how to safely prepare gluten-free meals will give you an answer that includes a set process, gluten-free options and replacements, and confidence that ensures your trust. On the flip side, if the pizzeria says your gluten-free crust is slapped right on the flour from the other pizzas, but that their mother/sister/cousin who eats gluten-free is usually fine, well…then you know to dine elsewhere.
#3 “Thank you!”
“Please,” “Thank you,” “I appreciate that” – politeness and gratitude go a long way. Those who work in the restaurant industry work hard to satisfy their customers; it is not easy to make everyone happy, but they are usually willing to do what it takes to make you a great meal, within their limitations. Try to remember that not everyone is in your shoes and knows where you are coming from – and vice versa – sometimes it takes compassion to receive compassion. Preparing your meal safely takes hard work, and a kind attitude makes a difference (as do generous tips)! Wouldn’t you want to go the extra mile to help someone kind versus someone demanding and rude?
What are some tips you have for dining out with confidence? Check our list of GFFS restaurants near you for the ultimate gluten-free experience!