So, when you go to Chipotle and tell them you are gluten free, they remove the spoons from all the containers of the items you choose. They wipe down the line and add new spoons. They wash hands and put on fresh gloves.
Honestly, the whole wiping down the line is appreciated, but not quite sure how necessary. The only item they have that has gluten (I believe) is the flour tortillas. The container used for the burrito bowl doesn't get set down on the counter; it is held at all times. The new spoons is good only because the handles would surely contain gluten from handling when making burritos. If gluten got on the serving part of the spoon, the contents of the container would be contaminated meaning the changing of spoons would be too late anyway. But the time and the care and effort is appreciated.
So, since today was (is) my birthday, I thought I'd treat myself to one of my favorites---a chicken burrito bowl. I went at 2:30, between the lunch and dinner hour, as they aren't busy. As the gal was wiping down the line, another customer came in. The employee says (loudly) "I'm sorry, it will be a couple minutes. She's gluten free."
Then an employee gets in line and the gal says it again---LOUDLY! "She's gluten free! It will be a couple minutes."
I looked at the gal behind me, really embarrassed by now, and she has a look that expressed how I felt, like "what the heck!"
And then she said it AGAIN! I felt she was broadcasting it to the whole restaurant---and surely they all heard her. Seriously---she made the announcement 4 or 5 times!
When I said something (like, "I feel I need a big flag or something") she said they have to tell the customers that because they had some get upset and walk out. (Because they are taking precautions in order to accommodate their gluten free customers?) Sheesh! Its not that lengthy of a process (but yes, it is embarrassing.)
So now I'm made to feel guilty for them losing customers?!
I've been to Chipotle MANY times, but NEVER felt like such a nuisance.
When I got to the cashier and she asked me how I was, I said, "I was hungry, but not so much any more." I must have looked like I felt---on the verge of tears. She asked what was wrong and I told her I didn't care to have my allergy broadcast like that, several times! She was sooooo nice. Apologized. And didn't charge me for the meal. I told her that wasn't necessary, but she just said, "Done. I did it. Your meal is free. We don't want you to feel that way." And she was sincere, and very sweet about it.
But wow! I haven't felt so ridiculous in a very long time.
Suggestions on a better way for a restaurant to handle this?
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