I’m almost too excited to type!
If you were shocked to hear how I was glutened last week at a specialist gluten-free cafe, I have good news…
Within hours of receiving my letter of complaint, I had the following:
a complete & utter apology for being given gluten;
genuine empathy for what had occurred;
reassurance that the staff concerned had been immediately dealt with;
a promise they would look at implementing my idea about gluten-free food being visibly different from food with gluten in*; and
reimbursement not only of my meal but also to cover the loss of being unable to work the next day.
* My suggestion was to have a different shape for pasta (e.g. bow-tie), bread rolls and so on so that not only staff but customers would feel reassured their food was gluten-free.
For further proof, this e-mail arrived shortly after the extremely apologetic phone call:
Thank you for being so understanding about this incident.
Please accept an apology again on behalf of us all – this was a mistake which was a result of a miscommunication between the front of house and kitchen staff.
In light of what happened, we will be reviewing our gluten-free operational policy, and speaking to our chefs and front of house staff about the importance of correctly identifying food that is gluten-free.
We have given you a full refund to cover your meal plus compensation for your lost day at work.
We’ve launched a new Spring Menu today, including a new Gluten Free menu.
I feel much happier about the business’s cafe chain and the gluten-free options they’ll be serving. The purpose of writing my original post was threefold:
Firstly, I didn’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else. Secondly, I wanted to ensure the cafe knew how important the mistake had been so they would change their systems. Thirdly, I wanted others who have to follow a gluten-free diet to know it’s worth taking the time to complain.
None of us should have to suffer being glutened. Yes, mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean we should simply take them in our stride – that doesn’t benefit anyone. Only by repeatedly championing best policy and reminding people many of us aren’t on some fad diet will we triumph in the end.
Huge thanks to all who were wonderfully supportive online – it’s always good to know someone’s got your back!
Have you had success after making a complaint about supposedly gluten-free food? Do tell below!