While pizza, dessert and soft drinks are all common favorites for adolescents, compliance with a gluten-free diet often excludes these food experiences from children and families when dining away from home. To accommodate guests with special dietary needs, Chuck E. Cheese’s has added gluten-free options to its menu. The new food items, which include a gluten-free pizza and chocolate cupcake, will begin testing at all Minnesota Chuck E. Cheese’s locations to gauge demand for future national availability.
“We’ve received an overwhelming response from families requesting that we add gluten-free products to our menu items for their kids who love to visit us but can’t enjoy a Chuck-E classic, pizza, because of special diet needs,” said Joe Elliott, Chuck E. Cheese’s vice president of research and development. “In light of growing concerns and sensitivity to this lifestyle, we listened to their feedback and wanted to provide options that better help everyone enjoy the full flavor of Chuck E. Cheese’s.”
Dining out safely remains a primary concern for food-allergic customers under strict dietary limitations. To avoid cross contamination or accidental exposure to gluten ingredients in Chuck E. Cheese’s kitchens, the personal cheese pizza, manufactured by USDA/FDA-approved, gluten-free facility Conte’s Pasta, will arrive to stores in frozen, pre-sealed packaging. The bake-in-bag pizza will remain sealed while cooked and delivered and until opened and served with a personal pizza cutter at families’ tables by the adult in charge.
Under the same procedure, gluten-free, chocolate fudge cupcakes naturally sweetened with fruits, vegetables and grains from Fabe’s All Natural Bakery will remain in pre-sealed, single-serve packaging through preparation and until opened and served at the table. To ensure high taste, integrity and quality standards are met before a national launch, testing these menu options helps Chuck E. Cheese’s deliver the same type of consistent, great-tasting food products that are expected from the leader in family entertainment and dining.
“From delivery to table, our procedures ensure that families can feel confident knowing their meal is completely within gluten-free guidelines,” said Elliott. “We’re happy we can provide a place ‘Where a Kid Can Be a Kid’ and enjoy great fun and food guilt- and gluten-free.”
Although these menu options are not available at every Chuck E. Cheese’s location at this time, the restaurant is evaluating the possibility of introducing gluten-free birthday parties and other special dietary products nationwide if test markets perform well. In addition to the successful launch of its new pizza recipe last year, Chuck E. Cheese’s plans to continue adapting its menu to offer dishes that accommodate the changing tastes, dietary needs and lifestyles of families all over the country.