Restaurants, Caterers & Retailers
More and more Australians are being diagnosed with coeliac disease (as well as other forms of medically diagnosed gluten intolerance).
This means more and more people want gluten free meals and products.
If your establishment offers gluten free, you'll attract customers and generate repeat business.
If not, they'll go somewhere else — it's as simple as that.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.
People with coeliac disease must avoid bread, breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits, pastry, pasta, pizza and batters containing ingredients sourced from these grains.
More information about gluten can be found on our Eating Gluten Free page.
You can download our Catering Resource for more information
Gluten Free = Good Business
The most obvious reason to offer gluten free on the menu is so you don't miss out on those customers who can't eat meals or products containing gluten.
You might think, "well, in the case of people with coeliac disease, that's only 1 in 100."
But you could be missing out on a lot more business than that!
Suppose a family of five wants to dine out. Only one of them is gluten intolerant. But because you don't offer gluten free, you miss out on the entire party.
The family simply chooses to eat somewhere else — somewhere that offers gluten free.
That's not one meal you've lost — it's five!
Now multiply this a few times over the course of a week — taking into account how many people require gluten free meals — and you'll soon realise how much a potential loss it could be to your business.
Gluten Free Menu Planning
People diagnosed with coeliac disease or other forms of medically diagnosed gluten intolerance must avoid foods containing gluten.
But when you're eating out, it's not always easy to spot the less obvious gluten in foods. Informative menus and approachable staff who are knowledgeable about the gluten free diet will encourage consumer confidence and repeat business.
It’s not always necessary to prepare separate gluten free meals. Coeliac Australia has information available to assist with creating palatable gluten free meals – it may be as simple as substituting a few ingredients to create meals that are suitable for gluten free and non gluten free customers.
Membership is available to help you cater for your gluten free customers and to ensure potential customers aware of the service you provide.
Helpful hints for catering gluten free
Using gluten free ingredients is an important first step. Here's what else you need to do to ensure your meals are gluten free:
- Protect against cross-contamination, paying particular attention to your work surfaces and food preparation areas.
- Make sure all bread boards, knives and other cooking utensils are clean before preparing gluten free meals.
- Avoid contamination with gluten-containing crumbs by using separate butter and condiment containers.
- Cook gluten free pasta in fresh water and a clean pot – never re-use water used for cooking regular pasta.
- Don't dust meats or fish with wheat flour or any other gluten-containing flour (including wheaten cornflour).
- Clean your deep fryer regularly to remove batter and breadcrumbs, preventing contamination of fried food with gluten. A separate fryer for gluten free cooking is even better.
- Icing sugar mixture commonly contains wheat starch. Use pure icing sugar or a gluten free icing sugar mixture instead.
- Make sure all gluten free ingredients and products are clearly labelled and stored in sealed containers.
- Educate your kitchen staff about the importance of all the above.
- Make sure your front of house staff know which items are gluten free and are able to correctly answer customer enquiries.