Complaints About a Gluten-Free Diner

I have to share this story with you.  A close friend of mine is a server at a local fine dining establishment.  Recently she waited on a woman who said she had a gluten-allergy.  My friend, who is very educated on gluten-free ingredients, worked with the woman making sure there was no cross contamination, sauces were left off that had gluten, dressings were substituted, spices were gluten-free, etc.  She went way out of her way to make her meal as safe as possible. The entire meal was gluten-free, until dessert, when the woman ordered ice cream with cookies and ate the cookies knowing full well they were not gluten-free.

What are your thoughts on this?

My friend was happy to accommodate her needs, but was confused that she spent so much time going over the menu and took extra steps to make sure this woman’s meal was safe, only to watch her eat cookies at the end of the meal.

Personally, I think this hurts people who really are living their entire lives gluten-free and may cause restaurants not to take gluten-allergies seriously during food prep for others who truly are gluten-free.

What do you think?


Filed under Dining, Nutrition

12 responses to “Complaints About a Gluten-Free Diner

  1. Ginny

    I could not agree more with your comments. It is very frustrating and confusing for staff when a customer does something like this. The gluten free diet is being totally abused by those who are using it as the latest “fad” diet for the cure of the day (or strangely enough…weight loss), which only hurts those who truly need this diet to stay alive…the Celiacs and those with real gluten allergies. If you don’t really need to follow a gluten free diet and are just doing it because it ‘might’ help some ailment you have, follow it all the time…don’t pick and choose because you are only hurting those who are meant to be the beneficiaries of the extra steps taken by caring staff. Thanks for the post.

    • Viking Mom

      Well spoken Ginny! I will ditto what Ginny has said. I have been gluten free for over 10 years and now my children have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. We are not part of a fad movement or using it as a weight loss program. Do I want to wish this life on my children? No! But, it is our life. So, to have a caring a concern waitress is a Godsend to us. I just hope she doesn’t become jaded from this one costumer.

  2. Circe LeNoble

    That sucks! I do try and state in my converstaion with the waiter/waitress/manager/chef that my daughter is GF because she has Celiac disease. I sure hope the diner left your friend a better-than-average tip.

  3. Maryanne

    Agree completely. Ditto Ginny’s comment

  4. mark

    As a Server-The customer is always right. If she wants to avoid gluten or minimize it -it is her choice. My wife has a very strict diet over 22 allergies-if she wants a cheat every once in awhile so be it, it makes her enjoy her dining experience. Also if gluten free/celiac is such a major issue I recommend not going out to eat there are way too many factors in cross contamination.

  5. Elizabeth

    That diner should be embarrassed by her behavior. To make someone go out of their way to help you obtain a gluten free meal and then eat cookies is a disgrace! I’m glad that the server understood actual gluten problems, because just experiencing this would make most servers think that it’s some silly diet and they wouldn’t be so careful with the next gluten free diner that came in.

  6. I think it’s so confusing to servers who may not truly understand the implications of cross-contamination to have a diner like this. What a shame! Kudos to your friend for her detail to service. I hope this doesn’t change the way she handles customers in the future. It means the world to have a server who works with us on this level!

  7. Tonya

    I’m just thankful there are occasional servers who truly understand food allergies… I get WAY too many blank stares when I ask for a gluten free menu or ask for my food to be prepped without gluten ingredients. Restaurant owners and managers should have at least a short conversation with new servers about food allergies and how to respond if a customer requests something special. They are in the FOOD business, servers should have some basic understanding – even if it’s to understand that’s it important (perhaps even life threatening) to some of their customers! Much appreciation to your friend who endeavors to provide such amazing service…

  8. Pingback: Best of 2012 « Gluten Free Jacksonville

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s