By Mike Green
As we have all seen, gluten and Celiac disease have become hot topics in the news and among many restaurateurs in the last 12 months. I was surprised to find that 1 in 133 people have Celiac disease. Does your operation offer gluten-free menu items? Have you trained your staff on what gluten is and how it affects people with Celiac disease? If you have not, I would make it a top priority.
Educating your staff is not only the safe thing to do; many restaurants are now using the gluten issue to drive sales. Customers with Celiac disease are looking for places to dine. They would love to find a restaurant with a gluten free option or two, but how about a separate menu with ONLY gluten-free products? So far, this is an untapped and growing market.
One of our Customer Impact clients added a gluten free menu last year. They did a great job of educating the staff on the disease. We now do gluten shops for them in addition to their regular shops. Our shoppers enter and ask the hostess if they have any gluten-free products on the menu. The hostess has to then provide the separate gluten-free menu and inform the server. When the server greets them, they are to discuss the issue and help them order. It has been a successful program for the concept, the staff and the customers. WIN, WIN, WIN!!!
This is just one more example of turning a possible problem into a success story for your customers and another way to set yourself apart from your competition.
What are you doing about gluten? If you are considering a Mystery Shopping Company please contact us!
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