What to Look for at Restaurants and Catered Events to Avoid Gluten

Our intrepid blog writer, Jennifer, is back yet again with another installation of gluten-free life on behalf of Gersky’s!

Dining out or planning an event you want catered? Knowing what to look for when you’re trying to avoid gluten is critically important.  The last thing you want is to suddenly succumb to an adverse reaction. These tips have served me well since going gluten-free, and I hope they’ll help you too!


  1. Check the menus online first

This has been my dining out trick since I became a mom. It’s pretty much impossible to fully concentrate on any menu while at the restaurant with kids interrupting constantly. However, it’s something I still use to this day to see what my gluten-free options are. When I meet friends for dinner, I always check out the restaurants first. This way, I’m not disappointed with my only option being a plain salad when I arrive.


  1. Know what might have sneaky gluten

From my last article, you likely know the more obvious foods with gluten. But there are some things that will surely surprise you like sauces, gravy, and salad dressing. Find out what they’re made with before digging in.


  1. Yes, ask!

I definitely hate being that person that asks, “Is this gluten-free?” However, it’s better to ask than to wind up with a reaction from eating gluten. The last time I neglected to do this, I wound up feeling sorry for days after the gluten caused me gastrointestinal distress and atopic dermatitis issues on my hands. At restaurants, they are always happy to answer your questions about how the food is prepared. And at Gersky’s, they’re happy to let you know that too!


  1. Keep it simple

Whether you’re invited to a catered event or are fortunate enough to have Gersky’s cater for your even, choosing the most simple items will mean they’re gluten-free. Steamed or raw vegetables are always a safe bet as are grilled items too. Anything with a breaded coating is off the menu for you though. And again, if you’re not sure whether or not the item your loading onto your plate at the event or requesting to be served by your caterer is gluten-free, ask!


  1. Choose the right restaurants and caterers

By now, you’re learning that not every place has gluten-free options. Near me, I have only one pizza place that has a gluten-free crust available. Plenty of restaurants and caterers, like my friends here at Gersky’s, are happy to help you find gluten-free options on their menus. They’ve got things that are delicious too so don’t think you’ll be stuck with a plain, boiled chicken breast or crudite platter.


What you should know though is that while many places have options that are naturally gluten-free, they may not have a devoted space for preparing gluten-free items. So, there is a chance for cross-contamination. While that chance is small and usually won’t bother someone with a gluten-sensitivity, if you have celiac, you should definitely be more cautious about this fact.


In short, you can dine out, attend catered events, and even host them yourself when you have a gluten-sensitivity. However, you will want to keep a keen eye out for gluten and know your options up front so you can fill your plate with foods that won’t do you wrong.

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