Do not eat here if you have celiac disease. They may claim to be able to accommodate celiac but my guest got sick on a simple salad that was cross contaminated. The waiter had no clue. No gluten free bread. My first email:
Unfortunately, the menu had no indication of what was safe for a celiac to eat, so our guest was limited to the salad as her entire meal. What's worse, she's feeling sick now. We're certain the salad had been cross contaminated, despite alerting the waiter. There was no gluten free bread offering. The waiter was very tentative in trying to guess which offerings may be gluten free. Dining wise, the evening was a complete disappointment.
The caring and thoughtful response:
Although I was not there tonight I can tell you that half our entrees are gluten free. My staff is also quite well trained. As for gluten free bread, that is quite a stretch as we are not a gluten free restaurant, rather, as I stated we have many gluten free options. As for your claims of cross contamination, not one item on our garde manager station has gluten as part of what they prepare. Although I am sorry things were so strikingly inadequate for you, it was not due to lack of options. We are actually often complemented on our depth of desire to accommodate various dietary restrictions. You were also waited on by one of my most seasoned servers who knows the menu inside and out.
I am always happy to hear constructive criticism and am always personally dismayed when a diner is upset. However, the accusation that we make people sick is unfair and untrue.
Finally from me....
Here is how a professional restaurateur might have responded to my first email:
I could not be more embarrassed that you had problems with your meal tonight and am truly sorry. I hope you guest is not seriously ill. Please let me know.
Your point about the bread is a good one. We will keep a limited supply of certified gluten free bread on hand in the future. In addition, we'll have several butter dishes marked with a small "GF" to remind guests not to cross contaminate them at the table.
We will place a small "GF" next to items on the menu that are safe for those with Celiac to order or print up a single sheet of paper with gluten free options available on demand. We will ensure that there are at least two gluten free appetizers and desserts on the menu so marked.
As a result of your experience, we will be conducting refresher training for all our kitchen and wait staff in the safe preparation and serving of gluten free food.
Again, I'm so sorry for your experience and I thank you for bringing this to our attention.
The difference between a response such as this and the owner's response could lead one to characterize the original as...........what? Inspired? I told her I thought it was pathetic. The owner has not the slightest idea of whether a guest is sick or not. A reaction to gluten can be severe or moderate, but it is unmistakable.