When Shane was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2013, he was forced to change his everyday lifestyle and dietary habits. He struggled to find items he could eat at the grocery store, let alone restaurants where he could safely dine with friends and family.
“It was extremely difficult,” Shane said. “Restaurants hadn’t heard about gluten, and they didn’t know how to manage food allergies from a kitchen standpoint to make the customer feel safe.”
Five years later, during the ‘difficult season’ for diners, Shane has found that Burger Up Cool Springs was one of the only restaurants in town where he could confidently order food that would circumvent his allergy. While the staff has always been allergy-conscious, now the restaurant has a third-party certification which validates that Burger Up Cool Springs has the training, process and customer support to properly serve diners with food allergies, intolerances or celiac disease.
“I have eaten at Burger Up Cool Springs since it opened, and once I got diagnosed with celiac disease, I found that I could eat there safely. From the get-go, everyone from the manager to the waitstaff was knowledgeable about how to ensure that my food was safe and completely gluten-free. They’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding food allergies.”
Now, Allergy-Friendly.org has selected the restaurant as one of the first establishments to participate in and complete its stringent certification process, and Burger Up Cool Springs is focused on becoming an industry leader in making great meals accessible to customers with food allergies.
“We are grateful to work with Allergy-Friendly.org and apply their high-quality standards across the board,” said Katie Elkins, the restaurant’s Director of Service. “Now individuals with various specific food allergies can dine at Burger Up and rest assured that their entire meal will be prepared safely.”
Burger Up Cool Springs offers consumers a comprehensive Allergen Menu that clearly labels menu items as containing or not containing gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, tree nut, peanut, soy, fish and shellfish.
Allergy-friendly.org says Elkins has led the charge to make the restaurant celiac and allergy friendly.
“The fact that they have a separate, dedicated fryer for gluten-free fries is huge, especially for a burger place,” they said. “Even small things, like using rice flour instead of wheat flour for queso on their nachos, make a big difference for people with celiac disease.”
Elkins explained that there are three pillars involved in being an allergy-friendly restaurant.
“You must provide employee training, a menu that clearly explains food allergens and a clear process for the entirety of food preparation. Because of these measures, we can guarantee that guests with food allergies will have a safe and comfortable dining experience.”
Now that Shane has lived with celiac disease for five years, he has an even greater appreciation for Burger Up’s services.
“It’s so important for restaurants to take initiative in understanding food allergies. In doing so, they help the community and take care of the health of its citizens.”
BURGER UP COOL SPRINGS is a community-driven burger joint committed to serving fresh, innovative burgers made from locally sourced ingredients. Since opening in 2011, Burger Up has been known as a lively gathering spot for family and friends of all ages, offering a high-quality menu in a casual dining atmosphere. Learn more at burgerupcoolsprings.com.
Mangia Nashville at 701 Craighead St and Sunflower Cafe, 2834 Azalea Pl, both in Nashvillle, have also been certified allergy-friendly.