As most of you know by now (because I’ve been talking about it for what seems like ages), I am launching a mobile app for the celiac/GF community. The app has multiple sections: Let’s Eat (restaurants), Let’s Discuss (forum), Let’s Learn (videos), Let’s Connect (chat), Let’s Drink (gf beer).
The Let’s Eat section originally was going to contain ONLY 100% Gluten-Free Restaurants (and at launch will include only these.) But I have come to several realizations in the past few months that convinced me that this is not serving the celiac community in the best manner possible. What are they? I thought you would never ask.
- The f***ing pandemic changed the game. The restaurant business has taken a shellacking in 2020. It is beyond sad and unfair and why we can’t pass a bill to help save the restaurant industry, which serves millions and employs hundreds of thousands, is beyond me. But yeah…let’s save the airlines who have been ripping us off for years and now charge an extra $25 if you don’t want your knees pressed against your face for the duration of the flight, or god forbid, bring a carry on. (Sorry…wasn’t expecting to go off on a tangent.) So…I want to help as many restaurants as humanly possible.
- There are a lot of areas that simply have no gluten-free restaurants nearby. That is the sad reality. For example, I found 1 in Iowa and 2 in Idaho. Does that mean people in Iowa with celiac disease should be limited to only eating at that one restaurant? I think not. I want/need to give the community more options.
- I eat out at non GF restaurants. Do I prefer to eat at 100% GF restaurants? Heck yeah!! Eating without fear is beyond a treat. But the fact is I don’t limit myself to just those restaurants and I know A LOT of others in the community do not as well. There are a lot of restaurants that take the extra precautions to limit our exposure as much as possible? Is there a risk involved? There is. My app will only include the restaurants that minimize that risk.
And that’s where you come in. I’d like to know what restaurants you’ve been to that are NOT 100% gluten-free but that you trust (and why you trust them.) Let me know the experiences you’ve had and what they do to keep you safe (separate fryers, separate area in kitchen to limit cross contamination, 95% of food on menu is GF, have a separate gluten free menu, knowledgeable staff/ownership, etc.)
So…in the comments below, please let me know the following:
Restaurant Address (city and state is fine):
How many times you’ve eaten there:
What precautions they take to keep you safe:
(I’ll even go first…happy to lead by example…just the kind of guy I am…see below.)
A few caveats:
- No fast food restaurants. Between the small kitchen area and the high staff turnover, there is no way to minimize the risk enough for me to include them on the app.
- I feel kinda the same way about large chain restaurants (think Applebee’s) so I’d really need to be convinced to include any of them. But feel free to have a go at it.
And a few final thoughts/comments:
- All restaurants will be vetted by me (or someone on my team) before going on the app.
- Once these restaurants are added to the app (and added and added on a continual basis), they will be clearly delineated as NON GF so there is no confusion.
- If you are a restaurant owner, by all means chime in.
- If you have a strong opinion on why I shouldn’t be doing this,
keep it to yourself, I mean I’d love to hear from you.
Ok…let’s do this. Comment away below.