The new Gluten-Free Bun announced by Chick-fil-A this week does come with at least one catch — and maybe two, depending on your budget.
First, even though the gluten-free buns are individually packaged and certified to be free of gluten, customers “will be required to assemble their own sandwiches,” Chick-fil-A officials said in their release. That will reduce the risk of cross-contamination, since Chick-fil-A kitchens are not gluten-free, company officials said.
In addition, the new buns will add $1.15 to the price of any sandwich. When the product was being test-marketed, the Gluten-Free Bun was most commonly ordered with Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich and the Grilled Chicken Deluxe Sandwich, company officials said.
Of course, the additional sandwich-assembly duties and cost will likely be a small price to pay for those with gluten sensitivity. Health data suggests that as many as 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivity or preference, and Chick-fil-A is one of the few fast-food restaurant chains to offer a gluten-free bun, company officials said.
Chick-fil-A unveiled the new bun in response to customers’ requests for more gluten-free/gluten-sensitive options on the menu. It is made with grains quinoa and amaranth and enriched with vitamins and minerals, as well as lightly sweetened with molasses and raisins.
“We know our customers are looking for more gluten-sensitive alternatives. They asked, and we listened,” Leslie Neslage, senior consultant of menu development at Chick-fil-A, said in the release. “We heard positive feedback in test markets that the bun tastes better than some other gluten-free breads. … Our hope is that the Gluten-Free Bun addition opens up options for gluten-sensitive customers to enjoy more of our menu.”
OPENING DAY: Chick-fil-A sets dates for TWO new Dayton-area locations (December 2016)
Chick-fil-A operates eight locations in the region, including two that opened on the same day in January 2017 — in Kettering and in Troy — as well as a restaurant that opened last year in Cornerstone of Centerville. Another location in Washington Twp completed a $1 million makeover in late 2016.