Gluten Free Awareness in Hotels

Following a spate of poor hotel stays of late, I’m keen to raise awareness regarding gluten free breakfasts at hotels. How can it be so difficult?!

I don’t understand how staff can be so well informed during an evening meal, despite the large number of dishes available, yet breakfast seems to be so difficult to get right.

The main issue I have had of late is just lack of knowledge from breakfast staff and chefs(!) as to what gluten free even means. This often leads to long waits whilst staff check, which I’d prefer rather than being given incorrect information, but when you need to be somewhere this isn’t always convenient.

The big issue is that hotel breakfasts tend to be buffets with the same items every day – how difficult would it be to know if these few items are gluten free or not? I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult to put an information sheet together to include this information?

This morning’s meal looked like it was going to be more promising when the waitress was quick to check the gluten free items with the kitchen and let me know (although non gluten free baked beans do concern me…)!

All was going well until I looked in the buffet trays and discovered that the items weren’t separated, so the bacon was with the sausages, the tomatoes with the fried bread etc. When I tried to explain to the waitress that this now made them unsuitable due to cross contamination she really couldn’t understand it and insisted that they were gluten free!

Fortunately I’d taken some PERK!ER porridge with me so I did manage to have an enjoyable breakfast, but this is now beginning to really frustrate me (as you may have seen from some of my tweets of late!).

These recent instances have occurred at Ramada, Hilton and MG Hotels and I would certainly have expected better from such chains, and this is despite them all being advised in advance that gluten free meal options were required.

I must say that since my stay at the Hilton in Southampton they have thanked me for raising my concerns with them and for identifying the need for staff training. I really hope that such comments were not just for my benefit and they do actually proceed with improving the service they offer.

Anyway, now I need to start finding the good chains / hotels!

Do you have experiences of good gluten free hotel breakfasts? If so, which hotel / chain provided the good service? I’d love to know and they certainly need to be promoted!

Do you work at a hotel? What service do you provide if you’re aware that you have a guest staying that has dietary requirements?

Please leave me a comment below 🙂

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