The demand for gluten-free foods is skyrocketing—US Foods reported a 200 percent increase in demand for gluten-free foods since 2009. This gives restaurants a major opportunity to capture a growing market. Many restaurants have recognized this and pounced on it—gluten-free mentions on restaurant menus increased 275 percent from 2009-2012, according to Mintel. Restaurants that do add gluten-free options experience an average eight percent boost in sales, reports MenuTrinfo.
The gluten-free diet is a necessity for an estimated 21,000,000 Americans, many of whom still undiagnosed. This includes those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by consuming the gluten protein. To embrace gluten-free, restaurants could, for example, use cornstarch instead of flour since flour is a gluten source. Instead of pasta-based sides, another common gluten source, restaurants could service rice or quinoa.
There’s a good deal involved in starting a gluten-free program, but it is something restaurants should seriously consider. To learn about about these steps, check out the infographic below.