Why Gluten Free should be on your Radar
Everybody likes a piece of cake, or a sandwich with their coffee. Imagine if your customers weren’t able to eat anything because everything you served contained gluten. For people with coeliac disease this isn’t a choice but a must. So if you can’t cater for their needs they go somewhere else. Through our GF accreditation scheme, we’ve helped reassure thousands of customers that they can eat out safely and given business owners a real competitive advantage by catering for this market. We know that the hospitality industry is missing out on an estimated £100m worth of gluten free business a year. Keep reading to learn more about the journey we’ve been on and why it’s so important for your GF customers to be able to have their GF cake and eat it….
From research we’ve conducted with our members, we know that a lot of people still have difficulty finding suitable choices in coffee shops, and we also know that it’s usually the person with coeliac disease that drives the decision of where to go. As an organisation, it’s been our mission to make this easier for both the customer and the caterer and so we launched our GF accreditation back in 2012 which has continued to grow year on year. The scheme has been hugely successful, especially with restaurant groups. There are now over 3300 accredited venues in the UK. High street chains like PizzaExpress, Dominos, Carluccio’s, Cote and many others are seeing the benefits of catering for this growing market. Our research shows that many people are finding eating out in restaurants easier than 2 years ago but this trend isn’t true for coffee shops.
We’ve been delighted to work with a number of cafes and coffee shops and have helped them achieve GF accreditation by following our simple step by step accreditation process – it’s not as difficult as you might think to serve safe gluten free options. Coeliac UK can guide you through the requirements and help you ensure that you have all the controls in place to serve safe food.
Filmore & Union have been GF accredited since 2014:
“We started with just one venue in Wetherby and have expanded each year, with now 15 locations. Coeliac UK helped us ensure that we had everything in place to manage cross contamination and our gluten free customers are massively important to our business. As well as those with coeliac disease many people are choosing to avoid gluten as a lifestyle choice and it’s great to be able to attract these customers too” - Adele Ashley Owner Filmore & Union.
If you don’t produce on site or only serve pre-packaged foods make sure you offer some gluten free products that carry our crossed grain licence, which confirms 100% that they are suitable for those following a gluten free diet. If you have these available, you’ll still be able to attract gluten free customers.