Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Bonefish Grill, and Burtons Grill lead restaurant chains in accommodating food-allergic diners, according to Allergy Eats’ 2014 list of Most Allergy-Friendly Restaurant Chains in the U.S.
New to the list this year, which launched in 2013, are Romano's Macaroni Grill and Mellow Mushroom. "Statistics have shown that maintaining a more allergy-friendly restaurant leads to increased traffic, customer loyalty, and, ultimately, profits,” says Paul Antico, founder and CEO of AllergyEats.
According to Antico, restaurants that are allergy-friendly can boost their annual profits by 24 percent or more, as more than 10 percent of Americans have a food allergy or intolerance. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) reports up to 15 million Americans have food allergies—12 million with food allergies and 3 million with celiac disease. Millions more have dietary concerns, such as lactose intolerance and diabetes.
Food-allergic individuals, notes Antico, often have the “veto vote” in a dining party, ultimately making the restaurant decision for the entire group.
The report groups chains into three categories: large (over 200 units), medium (50-200 units), and small (under 50 units). Results are based on diner feedback, who rate restaurants on a scale of 1-5, and post their info to the AllergyEats website or app. For this particular list, the ratings are based solely on how well restaurants have accommodated food-allergic diners, and don’t take into account the restaurants' ambiance, service, or food quality.
Large (over 200 units):
- Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (4.45 rating)
- P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (4.43 rating)
- Chipotle Mexican Grill (4.41 rating)
- Outback Steakhouse (4.35 rating)
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill (4.20 rating)
Medium (50-200 units):
- Bonefish Grill (4.43 rating)
- Ninety Nine Restaurant (4.28 rating)
- Mellow Mushroom (4.26 rating)
- Uno Chicago Grill (4.24 rating)
- Bertucci’s Brick Oven Restaurant (4.17 rating)
Small (under 50 units):
- Burtons Grill (4.90 rating)
- Maggiano’s Little Italy (4.73 rating)
- Papa Razzi (4.68 rating)
- Legal Sea Foods (4.67 rating)
- Not Your Average Joe’s (4.66 rating)
The primary goal of AllergyEats is to connect food allergic individuals with restaurants that are deemed allergy-friendly by fellow food allergic peers, says Antico. AllergyEats.com lists more than 650,000 restaurants nationwide, and offers web links, menus (including gluten-free), allergen lists, certifications, nutritional info, phone numbers, as well as other relevant information from restaurants.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.