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Dining Out With Food Allergies

Expert Offers Tips on Enjoying a Safe and Healthy Restaurant Meal

BOSTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to offering healthy dining choices for customers with food allergies, Uno Chicago Grill(R) ranks tops among chain restaurants(1), especially in terms of gluten-free options and menu transparency. The availability of such options is crucially important to the 12 million Americans who suffer from food allergies, in addition to the two million Americans who are estimated to suffer from celiac disease.

But these options are only valuable to the diner if he or she knows how to identify and choose them.

Andrea Levario, executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance, says consumers are now highly empowered to take control of their diets, even when dining out.

Diners with food allergies and other crucial health needs must be smart consumers. Ms. Levario, on UNO's behalf, offers the following tips to help consumers identify gluten-free options and other healthy menu choices that can ensure an enjoyable and healthy dining experience.

Research options online before you come in. Truly health-conscious establishments put their menus online, and clearly label items as gluten-free or otherwise geared toward the nutritional needs of customers. It only takes a few seconds, and can save customers time driving around looking for an establishment that offers the choices they need -- not to mention the health consequences of mistakenly choosing an item they should have avoided. Uno Chicago Grill's menu, with detailed health information, is available at

Take advantage of posted information. UNO is one dining establishment that offers lobby kiosks, known as UNO Nutrition Information Centers, at which consumers can find detailed health information about menu items and their ingredients. Establishments that offer such benefits are taking the initiative to ensure that consumers understand the choices they are making. The best information is that which is easy to use and can equip a diner to make the healthiest and most delicious choices before he or she is even seated.

Don't be shy about alerting your server. A customer's health should always be the server's top priority. Your server should be the liaison between the kitchen and manager, ensuring you have a safe meal.

Alert a manager about your special needs. Managers take special care to ensure the health and satisfaction of customers. A good manager personally checks the orders of his or her customers who make them aware of special nutritional needs -- adding yet another quality-control measure.

"There have never been more tools available to the consumer with food allergies to access health information and to act on what they find," Ms. Levario said. "Dining establishments are also growing in their understanding of food allergies and other customer health needs -- some in response to new laws, some voluntarily like UNO. I believe its activities are an example of a very positive health-consciousness trend within the restaurant industry."

About UNO:

Based in Boston, UNO Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service Uno Chicago Grill units located in 29 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. The company also operates a fast casual concept called Uno Due Go(R), a quick serve concept called UNO Express(R), and a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, schools and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and branded Uno products. For more information, visit

(1) Health magazine, Healthiest Chain Restaurant in America, April, 2008

    Contact: Elliott Subervi
    Utopia Communications for UNO
    (732) 542-9100 Ext. 111/Mobile (732) 678-6975

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Frank Guidara

SOURCE Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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