Did you know that there is a dark seedy, underbelly of gluten free eating? No? You didn’t know that there is a back alley to the gluten industry? It’s the creepy shadowy mark that seeps into the eating out experiences of all Celiacs. It may not sound like a big deal to all of you but it literally, infuriates me. Literally. I lose my shit every time this happens.
Celiacs get charged extra fees for eating out ALL THE TIME.
Some restaurants don’t tell you about it. They especially don’t mention it to the Celiac when that Celiac orders Gluten Free food. The restaurant just adds it to the bill when the Celiac is, gee, I don’t know, with a group of people she doesn’t know that well. When this extra charge is openly questioned on the group bill by the bossy 'I will calculate what we all owe becuase I have a calculator in my ass' person at the table, the server comes over and explains in the most condescending, charitable voice possible that the charge is for the Celiac meal and the entire table looks at you and you start to sweat because something that you didn’t want to be a big deal is now a BIG deal and by sweating you realize that you forgot to put in your chicken cutlets so now you have inconvenienced everybody and you don’t even have plastic boobs to make it better.
(PS Trev says that not everyone knows what chicken cutlets are – they are small soft triangular shaped gel filled bags that those of us who are boobie challenged can slip into our bra’s to fake everyone out - they make me feel like David Copperfield and Dolly Parton at the same time)
(PPS I have had a totally hilarious moment with my chicken cutlets that was witnessed by my friend Leisa. She has been sworn to secrecy. I will only tell you that chicken cutlets are as dangerous as they are enchanted – use with caution)
Back to the blog:
Let me clarify for those of you who may NOT have to pay extra money for having an Autoimmune Disease. The people WITH the autoimmune disease are yelling "GO BITCH GO!" and jumping up and down with giant foam hands and shit like that.
When I go to some restaurants that advertise having Gluten Free options, they charge me extra money. Usually, it’s about three dollars per item but I have been charged five dollars per item.
As a side note, someone told me conversationally, that a blow job in a foreign country is cheaper than a gluten free upcharge here – I promptly defriended him from facebook and took a shower.
Sometimes, restaurants just charge me once but sometimes I get charged for every item I eat. As if ensuring my coffee is gluten free has a fee. “Lady, I avoided our flour waterfall in the back for you, that’s WORTH something.”
So let me break it down for you:
Caesar salad (no croutons) to start $9.00
Gluten Free Pasta (brown rice – retails for 3.49 a pack )
I am told that the sauce is naturally gluten free $16.00
I am charged $3.00 for GF upcharge
The (ALREADY) flourless cake for dessert $ 9.00
I am charged $3.00 for GF upcharge
So my dinner comes to $34.00 (not including a glass of wine)
My upcharges come to $9.00 FOR HAVING A DISEASE
That is a 26% upcharge.
Then I have to tip.
SLOW. FUCKING. CLAP
CHARGING FOR GLUTEN FREE FOOD IS THE SAME AS PUTTING A TOLL BOOTH ON A WHEEL CHAIR RAMP.
It says, you are welcome here, we accommodate your kind…but it will cost you - almost double.
I know that Gluten Free foods (namely breads) are more expensive than normal bread. I know this because I buy it too. I have a whole fucking freezer full. I do know that Gluten Free pasta (either brown rice or corn pasta) is NOT any more expensive than a high end quality pasta. SO YOU AREN'T FOOLING ANYONE ASSHOLES! My business (and most likely my repeat business because I do not have many options for eating out) is payment for the extra five dollars you spend on a loaf of bread that you have to keep in the freezer for a year. Don’t tell me what your food cost is – you should see mine jackass.
I also know that it costs extra money in labor costs for a restaurant to prepare my gluten free food. I know that it costs the server time which is time that they aren’t spending at any other tables, I know that a cook in the back (most likely the sous chef) takes time to just prepare my meal, I know that there are discussions about my meal between managers and servers and chefs. I KNOW all that – and believe me I am GRATEFUL that the time was taken.
This is, however, the SAME amount of time used to prepare a meal for someone with a severe peanut or seafood allergy or even someone who is a pain in the ass and wants something not offered on the menu. Neither of which you upcharge for. Do you have any idea how much time your fucking hot water with honey and lemons take? If a server ever committed suicide at work, it would be the hot water/lemon/honey lady that pushed them over the fucking edge.
Don’t charge Celiac’s for services you provide for others for free.
Don’t and I really mean don’t, advertise that you WANT Celiacs to come to your restaurant and then make it very clear that we aren’t welcome. Let me remind you that I don’t always have the choice of where I eat. I DO have friends (I know, shocking right? I question their judgment all the time) that want to eat where they want to eat and when I have to pay more money than they do, it’s offensive.
I don’t have a choice in the matter. Gluten Free is what I have to eat…no options.
Celiacs are VERY loyal customers. If we are treated well, and get DON’T get poisoned somewhere, we will EAT THERE FOREVER. Now, I can’t promise that all Celiacs are good tippers. They should be. I am a very good tipper because I believe in Karma but I also believe in unicorns and mermaids so I can’t guarantee that everyone is as wonderful as I am.
Here’s the rule folks:
IF YOU MAKE SERIOUS MODIFICATIONS TO YOUR MEAL REGARDLESS OF THE REASON ( MEDICAL OR BECAUSE YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE) YOU NEED TO TIP FOR THE SERVICE
There are some places that REFUSE to charge for GF options. The Ochre Grill in SW Calgary is one of them and their menu is like 85% gluten free. They carry breads from The Care Bakery
and have never charged me an extra penny. This is why we eat there at least once a week.
But a lot of other places do charge for GF food; from the Redwater to Toscana Grill and Chiantis plus many others charge extra for GF options. This has become common practice and it pisses me off.
So knock it off or I am going to start ordering hot water’s with honey and lemon by the bucketful.
Don’t tempt me.
You think my Celiac’s annoys you?
Bitches you have NO idea what me and my chicken cutlets are capable of….