Gluten Free Pizza You’ve Got to Try Harder

Gluten Free Pizza In RestaurantsWe Can Do Better!

I recently received a pitch to a media event for a pizza place in my neck of the woods that serves gluten-free pizza. Read through and see what you would have said…

The Pitch: 

I work with XXXXX Pizza, a fast-casual pizza restaurant, and we’re excited to be opening our new Tempe area location on Thursday, April 14th.

We would like to invite you to join us at XXXXXX. for our Grand Opening Day on 4/14, as well as our Free Pizza Day on 4/15!

In addition to that, we would love to offer you two free pizza passes so that you can come in anytime to try our pizza and let us know what you think! We appreciate you sharing us with your friends and followers too!

If you’re not familiar with XXX Pizza, we make custom 11-inch personal pizzas fresh with made-from-scratch dough. We have healthful, artisanal ingredients on the assembly line and you can custom build pies that range from inventive to classic. Your fresh personal pizza is then baked in our blazing hot oven for 180 seconds, fast-fire’d to crisp perfection.

Let me know if you would like to take us up on the free pizza passes, reply with an address for mailing, and I will drop them in the mailbox for you ASAP!

We look forward to seeing you in the restaurant soon!

XXXX and the XXXXX Pizza Team

I got excited and then went on their website. Right away I noticed their disclaimer.

We work with wheat-based flour, and do not use a separate oven or press for our gluten-free dough. If you are highly sensitive to gluten, please consider your dining choices carefully.

Now, I know that restaurants typically post that they have gluten in the kitchen as a cover-your-butt disclaimer. But some of the best restaurants I’ve dined at mention that. But not mentioning that you at least have a separate prep area is a disappointment. There are so many ways you can make gluten-free pizza as safe as possible for the celiac consumer – that is, if you really want to work with them and not just satisfy fad dieters. I’ve talked to several restaurants who were open to learning about serving gluten-free consumers – real gluten-free consumers.

My Response:

Hi XXX. I’m a celiac, so it’s really important for restaurants that offer gluten-free options be safe for someone who medically requires a gluten-free diet, like a celiac, and not just those following a trend. While I was initially excited about this pitch, I saw the disclaimer on your site that you use shared equipment with your gluten-containing pizza. This is unacceptable for those touting a “gluten free” status, as chances for cross-contamination is very high, and it looks to us (those with celiac disease) that you’re not even attempting to try to reach out community. Because of this, I cannot attend. However, I’ve worked with other pizza companies before on how to make their pizza as celiac-friendly as possible, and if you’d like to talk to me about consulting with your company, I’d love to chat. Unfortunately unless you work on creating a celiac-safe pizza, I cannot patronize your business or recommend it to my readers.

I have yet to receive a response back, and I’m not even sure I’ll get one. But isn’t that the problem? Just assuming that everyone coming out with a gluten-free option just doesn’t give a flying poop about serving celiac consumers – the people who medically need to eat gluten free? Why even bother if you can’t even attempt to do it the right way? <sigh>

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Comments: 5

  1. Madanimalscientist April 8, 2016 at 12:42 pm Reply

    *headdesks* That’s like the Mexican place in LAX Terminal 5 that advertises gluten-free tacos..that are cooked in the same oil as everything else. Fad stuff like this makes me ragey.

  2. Michelle P April 8, 2016 at 2:39 pm Reply

    Oh man!

  3. Sabrina April 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm Reply

    Does this chain start with a P and end with a “hell fucking, no”?
    I had a terrible experience going there… at first they lied and said they had a separate prep space and oven, but they seemed confused so I asked for a manager who told me, “We’re not really gluten free, we’re gluten-friendly”. Give me a break.

  4. Karol April 9, 2016 at 2:17 am Reply

    Ughhh. I mean why even bother? Even those of us who don’t have celiac (I am gluten intolerant) wouldn’t eat there. This is only for people who for some reason choose to eat gf, but not for those who need to. Seems completely pointless.

  5. Susan Martin April 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm Reply

    I think this chain’s first part might rhyme with gaze….. Yea. No thanks!

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