Chances are, especially if you’re an American, you enjoy eating out, even if you do happen to be on the gluten-free diet. Dining out can be a convenient way to feed yourself on a regular basis, or it can be something you do on special occasions, but it’s an important part of most people’s lives. Thanks to the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program®, eating out gluten-free is much easier than it once was.
You may be familiar with the statistics. About one percent or three million Americans have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. According to the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program®, it is estimated that eight to ten percent of the population is on a gluten-free diet, and of these 96% of them are “brand loyal.” They also tend to dine out in groups, and due to their food intolerance, they are often asked to select a restaurant they know that can accommodate their needs.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with celiac disease or haven’t had much luck finding gluten-free eateries, you are probably wondering how gluten-free diners can find these accommodating restaurants. Thanks to the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program®, finding a gluten-free restaurant is easier than ever. On the home page of glutenfreerestaurant.org, click on the “Find a Restaurant” tab. On the right-hand side of the top of the search page, you can either search by zip code or conduct a detailed search, which has several fields, such as the restaurant’s name, city and state, and — my favorite — cuisine. If you’re in the mood for Italian food, you can type in “Italian” in the cuisine field and your city’s name, click search, and then scan your results for your restaurant of choice.
The Gluten-Free Restaurant search tool is not only convenient for those who want to locate gluten-free restaurants in their own hometown, but it’s also ideal for travelers. If you’ll be taking a road trip, you can search for restaurants in cities along your intended route of travel and plan where you’ll be making your food stops during your journey. If you’ll be staying in a particular city, you can search for a variety of restaurants that can accommodate your needs during your visit. In such a way, the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program helps solve two of the biggest challenges for the gluten-free community — eating out and traveling.
The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program® (GFRAP) is a service of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, with over 1,600 chain and independently-owned restaurants participating. Restaurants receive publicity through the GFRAP’s website and publications by the Gluten Intolerance Group. They can choose from three different levels of accreditation in their quest to service gluten-free patrons. For more information on how your restaurant can participate in this program, you can visit the website of the GFRAP, GlutenFreeRestaurants.org.
You have enough challenges as it is with the demands of family, work, and your community that the simple luxuries of life, such as eating out and traveling, shouldn’t be a source of trouble but a cause for joy. Thanks to the Gluten Intolerance Group of America, we have the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program® to make gluten-free living much easier.
Gluten-Free Awareness Restaurant Program® http://www.glutenfreerestaurants.org
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at info (at) GlutenFreeHelp.info.
19 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program: Eating Out and Traveling Gluten-Free Community”
Eating at restaurants can certainly be a challenge but it sure makes it easier when people share their gluten free dining experiences with others. This saves us money and gives us better insight when selecting a restaurant. Glad to see the Gluten Free Awareness Restaurant program started!
Hi Tina You’re totally right that we deserve to be able to go out and just not have to think and worry about things or be left out. Twelve years ago I couldn’t find a restaurant that had heard of celiac disease or gluten. I would eat my own dinner before going out to eat and just have drinks. I actually gave up on dining out! Finally I got my favorite restaurants aware of the issue and they were great at accomodating me. Anyway, so glad about the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program. My, how things have changed!
This is a whole other aspect of the gf diet…eating out. It takes some real skill to get the hang of it. I was gluten free for about 3 1/2 years and felt really confident about managing my diet at the time, and a I went out to eat about once a month without too much of a problem. Then I started traveling for work, and Boom! I was so sick and had a lot of problems at first. I began to rely on GlutenFreeRestaurants.org and printed resources and eventually things became much smoother. I don’t travel so much anymore though, and I’m pretty glad about that.
I just revisited this site after a year of not going on it (for no particular reason–just didn’t have the need) and I was super impressed by all those logos floating by on top for some pretty major establishments. So glad to see restaurants becoming more aware of our gluten-free needs!
I believe I’ve seen posts about this program before and it’s time I save it to my Favorites. My fave part of the program is that it educates restaurants on becoming gluten-free, it’s not just about letting celiacs and gluten-sensitive people know about which restaurants have already gotten on board. This type of program is what’s going to make the difference in making our society aware of gluten issues.
It’s pretty amazing how many mainstream restaurants accommodate gluten-free customers. I was really surprised to discover that! Outback Steakhouse, Bone Fish Grill, and Lee Roy Selmons? Sweet! In fact it was just these big-name establishments that came up. I don’t know why, but I was expecting independent restaurants. Well, glad to know corporate American restaurants are starting to tune in!
Oh goodie! My favorite restaurants serve the gluten-free community. I would like to find some non-chain restaurants though in my area. I was thinking about just dropping by independent establishments and giving them a car for The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program.
My daughter and son were both diagnosed celiac last year, and we’re getting ready for our first road trip a few states away to visit their grandparents in Tennessee, and I have to say that I’m extremely nervous! I have everything down pat here at home. I suppose this is just the beginning of our family travels and I need to just dive in and get started on this new adventure. I am looking forward to using this website in planning restaurants to eat out at on our way to Tennessee.
Thanks so much for sharing this. I used to use this a couple years ago, and I forgot the website after I stopped using it for a while. Then I kept trying all these other websites that I came across on your site and another site, but it wasn’t it. Finally I visited GlutenFreeRestaurants.org and viola! I was so happy. Thank you for reuniting us, Tina!
Thanks for the website recommendations. I’m really loving your blog! I think you get everything you need here as a celiac–recipes, food company reviews, news, and website recommendations. Keep it up. No wonder why you’re practically the top .info site in the world!
Even though a restaurant caters to gluten free people doesn’t always mean it’s a great place to go. I have still gotten sick after eating out a couple of times. It has taken me some time to find great restaurants with helpful waiters who know me well and I don’t get sick at these places either. I think it’s a process and in the end you’ll have several restaurants you can count in your area, or at least I do anyhow:-)
Wow, you’re not kidding. This website is awesome! I was suprised to find SO MANY restaurants that accommodate gluten-free folks such as myself around my area! In a 5 mile radius I found 12 restaurants! I don’t want to get carried away though with this, as I love eating it out, but my budget is much better off with homemade cooking instead!
A great website, but I haven’t used it in a while because I’ve gotten into an eating-out routine where I have my favorite restaurants that I go to and I don’t really try new restaurants very often. After reading your review, I replugged in my info (so easy to navigate this site, btw) and I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot more restaurants now listed. That’s a good sign of progress I think!
This is a good website. I also like http://celiacrestaurantguide.com/gf-menus/. They’re pretty good too plus you get to look at menus to online. As far as I know, glutenfreerestaurants.org doesn’t have the menus but I’m not sure. GlutenFreeRestaurants.org is very simple though and I like that.
Hi Tina Thanks so much for sharing this website. I’ve been relying on it for years and it’s nice to see it expanding so much and seeing more and more restaurants pop up. I am often traveling around for work as a salesperson in Southern California and it’s really helped a lot with finding places to eat lunch at during the workday!
Hi Tina I’m so glad to be connected now to someone in the gluten free community whom I really admire and who has awesome suggestions on recipes, websites, books, etc.–pretty much everything I need! I was even more impressed to find that you’re an award winning children’s author! I visited your book site, dannythedragon.com and was so enchanted that I bought a couple of your books. Cheers! Nancy
How men and women are objectified are definitely related, but I think it is very important to avoid comparing oppression like this. It pits those oppressed against each other in an unproductive fight that, in the end, only weakens progressive movements. Saying one version of objectification is “worse” or “the worst” or anything that implies other versions of objectification are less important does this, and implies that people should be focusing on the other, “worse” oppression and not the other one. I know this is rather simplistic – we can advocate against more than one oppression at a time – but I think it is important to avoid anything that could devolve into another round of “oppression olympics” where the only winners are the oppressors.