Going gluten free without the labor
A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.
In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.
According to FoodService Director, 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free items from outside vendors rather than making it themselves. Small kitchens with limited storage and prep space, a lack of demand from students and the peace of mind that comes with manufactured ingredients are some of the reasons college foodservice directors choose to opt for manufactured gluten-free products.
“The process of adding additional stock items, keeping separate storage areas and having trained staff is an added workload that most of the time isn’t feasible in busy operations,” says Doug McGohan, corporate chef and manager, Culinary Team Nestlé Professional North America. “The most convenient way to satisfy all the special dietary needs is to have finished food products that can be incorporated into the menu that do not require any additional space or labor.”
Manufacturers, such as Nestlé Professional, must put each batch of their gluten-free certified products to the test before products become available for distribution. This adds an additional degree of safety and reassurance to foodservice directors looking to menu gluten-free products.
Additionally, many college and university dining facilities are updating popular dishes with better-for-you, allergy-friendly ingredients.
“Our gluten-free products are designed to fill your menu with offerings that satisfy gluten-sensitive customers,” says Chef McGohan. “These products are an easy, go-to choice that you can offer that doesn’t require additional labor or special ingredients to execute recipes. Chefs can easily create delicious gluten free recipes such as: Stuffed Potato Skins, Chicken, Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomato Pizza, and Shrimp and Kale Penne Alfredo.”