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.