Gluten-free food now on Hotel Menus

Posted by: admin on: March 19, 2012

It’s no longer enough for hotels to offer vegetarian food options. Now their menus are going gluten-free, dairy-free and macrobiotic to cater to Americans’ diets.


  • Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar San Francisco this month began offering gluten-free items, such as Glutino pretzel twists, in its minibars.
  • Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in Portland, Ore., also has gluten-free items in its minibar
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts last year created a Lifestyle Cuisine Plus Menu for guests with diabetes, heart disease, gluten allergies and unique dietary preferences such as macrobiotic diets.
  • This month, the company introduced a new children’s menu with lower-calorie versions of favorites such as chicken fingers and kid-size portions of the Lifestyle menu.
  • In September, Omni Hotels & Resorts introduced a gluten-free breakfast buffet section at all its properties after a survey of more than 200 business travelers found that 10% wanted dairy-free or gluten-free choices.
  • Those special diets and their tastes have evolved, says Stephen Rosenstock, senior vice president of food and beverage for Omni.
  • It continues to be more prevalent today.
  • Food allergies affect about 5% of children and 4% of adults in the US, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • This is a subtle message that we are attentive to health issues, says Bjorn Hanson, dean of NYU’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.
  • It brings with it an image that is very positive to the traveler, especially older travelers like Baby Boomers who are increasingly focused on health issues, he says
  • Hotels are paying special attention to the gluten-averse customer. About 3 million Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that interferes with the digestion of gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye.
  • Experts say many more don’t have the disease but still can’t tolerate gluten.
  • There were $8.4 million in sales of gluten-free products last year among retailers that tracking firm Nielsen monitors nationwide.
  • There is a much stronger effort and focus to call items out that are gluten-free, says Brad Nelson, corporate chef of Marriott International. Washington’s Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, owned by Marriott, has a gluten-free tea catering menu.
  • For years, even when Ethan Keogh, an actor in Santa Monica, Calif., told chefs he had celiac disease, his food would appear with bread or some other gluten-rich item.
  • He resorted to ordering steamed meat with a baked potato. Then last year, Catch, the restaurant at Casa del Mar, a Santa Monica hotel, introduced a gluten-free cocktail and food menu. Keogh has become a regular. Now he can order the striped bass and chorizo without fear.


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