Your coworkers invite you to a luncheon at a restaurant to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. You haven’t been to the restaurant before and are unsure if you’ll be able to eat safely, but you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. What do you do?
“First, call ahead and inquire with the restaurant. If they can accommodate your gluten-free dietary needs, great! Problem solved. If the restaurant can’t, suggest an alternative to your coworkers, explaining—if necessary—that you have celiac disease. There’s no shame in having celiac disease, and if your coworkers care about you as a colleague, they should be more than willing to adjust something as simple as a restaurant choice.”
- Beyond Celiac Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski, No Gluten, No Problem
"Do your homework on the restaurant to see if they can accommodate you without having to ask questions at the table. It’s possible that your colleagues may actually have selected a restaurant that understands how to accommodate you with safe preparation practices. If you are trying to avoid a conversation about your celiac disease both in the office and at the table, eat ahead of time. That way you won’t be hungry through the meal."
- Jennifer North, Beyond Celiac Vice President
"Call ahead and talk to the manager or chef so that you don't have to play ‘20 Questions’ when you arrive. Ask them to discreetly assist you with your needs and clearly explain the circumstances. If the restaurant doesn't have many choices, see if they can prepare a salad. Then eat a big breakfast before you go and try to focus on the fellowship not the meal."
- Beckee Moreland, Beyond Celiac Director of GREAT Kitchens