Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gluten-Free: Chuck E. Cheese's

Another national chain has announced a trial of gluten-free food in the last week with substantially less fanfare than Domino's wet glutenous blanket in my last post.

Chuck E. Cheese's is testing gluten-free pizza and cupcakes in all their Minnesota stores with the potential for roll-out across the US!

This pizza & games restaurant for children is putting all other dining establishments to shame. Following their training by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness's GREAT Kitchens program (nice acronym), Chuck E. Cheese's has chosen to be emblematic of best practices to avoid cross-contamination. The personal cheese pizza is manufactured at Conte's Pasta and will arrive at individual store locations in frozen & bake-in-bag packaging that will remain sealed until it's delivered & opened at the table by an adult customer with a personal pizza cutter. Likewise, the single-serve chocolate fudge cupcakes from Fabe's All Natural Bakery -- which are not only gluten-free but also naturally sweetened with fruits, vegetables & grains -- are never touched by anyone after leaving the factory until they're in the hands of gluten-free adults or kids as well.

If these products meet the chain's taste & quality standards and there's enough demand, which there should be given the "overwhelming response from families requesting gluten-free items" according to Joe Elliot, Chuck E. Cheese's vice president of research and development, gluten-free options will eventually be launched across the country.

I agree, Chuck.  Thumbs up!
Additionally, they are considering offering gluten-free birthday parties (but even sooner than the full wheatless shebang) as well as other special dietary products nationwide if the test markets do well, including at all their eleven Massachusetts locations.

Chuck E. Cheese's, I promise your company lifelong loyalty that if you provide a place "Where a (gluten-free) Kid Can Be a Kid." I will have every one of my daughter's birthday parties (& any future children) at one of your franchises until she or they are inappropriately old. I will also find a myriad of reasons to go at least once a month for the rest of the year. Possibly by myself if I don't end up looking like a pedophile, because you are way safer for me than the adult-oriented Dave & Busters. You can hold me to it.

I urge you to contact Chuck E Cheese's guest relations on their website form or by phone at 1-888-778-7193 if you feel as strongly as I do that all American children should be able to enjoy their family dining, games and entertainment.

I'll meet you by the skee-ball.