Fast-casual goers who have a gluten intolerance or wish to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, have a new reason to celebrate. Culver's will be able to ensure that all guests can enjoy the full Culver's experience—from ButterBurgers to Grilled Chicken Sandwiches—with a new gluten-free bun. The bun will be available in all Culver's restaurants by the end of March.
Culver's has been testing the gluten-free bun in select markets since fall 2014, and the option has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Guests have expressed appreciation for now being able to enjoy menu items with this gluten-free option.
"Our mission is that each guest who chooses Culver's leaves happy. When some of our guests shared that they were unable to enjoy our signature ButterBurger because of gluten allergies, we had a responsibility to respond," says CEO and co-founder Craig Culver. "This option makes it possible for all guests to savor a delicious burger."
For guests who order the gluten-free bun, the ButterBurger or sandwich will be served unassembled with a warmed, wrapped Udi's bun to avoid contact with gluten in the kitchen. Guests assemble their sandwich knowing the bun has not been in contact with gluten-containing ingredients.
Culver's prides itself in being sensitive to guests' needs. From an online and in-restaurant allergy guide to the Culver's app which lists allergens in each menu item, Culver's makes every effort to ensure guests have all the information they need to make informed decisions.
The gluten-free industry has become increasingly popular in recent years. The retail market was estimated to be $4.2 billion in 2012 and estimated to exceed $6.6 billion by 2017 according to Packaged Facts, a marketing research firm. In a recent article from the New York Times, they shared the trend of gluten-free foods will likely last longer and have a greater impact in the coming years due to food allergies and digestive health concerns being at an all-time high.
"This is a food trend that continues to grow in its prevalence," says vice president of marketing David Stidham. "This is our opportunity to show guests we are listening to their needs and want them to have an enjoyable experience every time they visit our restaurant."