Uno Chicago Grill Offers Gluten Free Veggie Pizza!

For Immediate Release:

UNO CHICAGO GRILL® NOW OFFERS GLUTEN-FREE VEGGIE PIZZA
Extends Popular Line of Pizzas in Time for Celiac Awareness Month!

Boston, MA, May 11, 2009 – Following up on the success of its gluten-free cheese and pepperoni pizzas, launched in January, Uno Chicago Grill® is announcing the launch of its first gluten-free veggie pizza in time for Allergy and Celiac Disease Awareness Months (May).

Featuring peppers, onions and mushrooms as toppings, the new gluten-free veggie pizza will give those suffering from celiac disease or wheat intolerance or allergy yet another option to enjoy pizza at Uno®.  Frank W. Guidara, CEO of Uno Chicago Grill, said the company was encouraged to proceed with the launch after the gluten-free community responded so passionately to Uno’s introduction of its cheese and pepperoni gluten-free pizzas earlier this year.

“The best thing about the launch of our gluten-free pizzas was that the celiac community responded so positively and helped spread the word,” Guidara said.  “Local support groups, online communities and individuals were excited about this product and embraced it far beyond our most optimistic hopes. In truth, we’ve been overwhelmed by the reception, so we are delighted to offer yet another option to this under-served audience.”

Uno’s gluten-free pizza crust is prepared in a dedicated gluten-free facility, whose products are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (www.gfco.org), and is delivered to restaurants frozen in a sealed case, for immediate placement into freezers.  Uno’s gluten-free pizzas are thin crust and round, making the difference in shape from their oval flatbreads and deep-dish pizzas striking and unique to the eye.

Uno has offered an extensive gluten-free menu since 2006, with over 20 items ranging from appetizers to entrees, to desserts and beverages.  Menu choices include grilled chicken with mango salsa, lemon basil salmon and Certified Angus Beef® steaks, but the development of gluten-free pizzas took over a year and a half before the company felt it had the right product.

“Food allergies are a very serious, sometimes life-threatening issue for many Americans,” said Guidara. “Pizza is our signature product, and we wanted to offer a gluten-free pizza so all of our guests could enjoy pizza when dining at Uno.  With that in mind, we spent over a year developing a crust that lived up to the Uno name.”

With 12 million Americans suffering from food allergies, including 2.5 million school-age children , Uno considers it good business and good corporate citizenship to offer an ever-expanding gluten-free menu. This commitment is made all the more compelling by the fact that an estimated 1 in every 133 people has celiac disease.  While awareness of celiac disease is rising, more than 95 percent of people with the disease remain undiagnosed.  Among people who have a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child—diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.

In addition to its gluten-free menu offerings, Uno boasts a number of healthy firsts including being the first national restaurant chain to eliminate artificial trans-fats and to increase menu and nutritional transparency via nutrition information centers located in their restaurants.  For guest convenience and safety, Uno clearly labels menu items with ingredients that are linked to the most common food allergies, such as fish/shellfish, soy, tree nuts/peanuts, egg, milk and wheat/gluten.  Diners can also preview the menu and nutritional information online via the company’s website at www.unos.com.

The company has invested more than $2 million in nutritional advancements since 2005 and, according to Guidara, will continue its commitment to providing delicious, fresh and healthful menu options for its guests.

About Uno Restaurants:
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 Dué Go®, a quick serve concept called Uno Express®, 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 www.unos.com.
###

Contact: Elliott Subervi, (732) 542-9100 x.111

5 Replies to “Uno Chicago Grill Offers Gluten Free Veggie Pizza!”

  1. H Maureen,
    I love your podcast! My husband downloads it for me and I listen to it while I’m on the treadmill. I have learned so much and I really appreciate all the information.

    I wanted to let you know about a pizza place in Colorado called Beau Joe’s… they have a gluten free pizza and it rocks! The crust is made by Deby’s who used to have a gluten free cafe here in Denver but I believe she just sells her products now. You can have anything on your pizza you want. I get Hatch green chili peppers, turkey pepperoni and a Mozzarella-Chedder cheese blend. They make the pizza in dedicated pans. And they sell Red Bridge which is my favorite gluten free beer.

    This beer and pizza combo is so wonderful. They even have gluten free Wednesdays where they have a special price for a salad and gluten free pizza. I believe Beau Joe’s is a pizza chain only in Colorado. I think perhaps Deby’s crust can be purchased online… I don’t know for sure.

    The only problem is it is so yummy and a ton of calories! Which leads me to my main concern about being celiac. I was diagnosis a few days before Thanksgiving last year. As a result of being so sick I lost lots of weight. In fact I was able to eat whatever I wanted and never gain any weight. Over the past five months I rapidly gained 20 pounds which has been very hard for me.

    I guess I liked being thin… now I’m not because oh how I love the gluten free bread I can make in my new bread maker and of course the yummy pizza and beer I mentioned above.

    I have been working out a lot over the past four months and I discovered I have to limit the gluten free bread products because of the high calories.

    What is so hard for me is that I have to be on this “diet” where there are so many foods I can’t have and yet I have gained all this weight. I don’t mind being gluten free, in fact it is a little weird to me how much I like the gluten free stuff… especially the bread and cookies, but the weight issue is the main concern. In fact some times I toy with the idea of eating gluten again to lose weight… you can probably tell I have some weight issues. Also I went about 10 years without being diagnosed so during that time I liked being thin and thought I was just lucky to have a high metabolism.

    I’ve figured out that I can’t eat all that I want anymore. But it is hard because I still get so hungry. I plan to keep working out and pretty much stop using my bread maker. I’m still going to Beau Joe’s every once in a while… its way too yummy! I don’t think I will ever go back to eating gluten out of concern about the health risks… increased rick of cancers and other disorders. But I do wish I could go back to eating whatever I want without a concern about my weight. Worrying about weight takes some of the fun out of food for me.

    Thanks for listening… the non-celiacs don’t seem to understand.

  2. @Jennifer

    Hey I totally agree with you. It is so hard to find gluten free foods now a days. But gluten free bread in pizza? MY GOD that makes me hungry. I have starved myself because all the weight I gain because I cant eat products with gluten.

    Thanks for the great post!

  3. I have had long term gluten allergies and have finally cleared them via a variety of natural methods. I wish I had gluten free pizza and other gluten free options earlier in my life it would have made a big difference.

  4. Super cool… I remember going to Uno’s way back in the day (back when I could actually EAT gluten) and just loved the pizza. Now when I go back to Chicago this spring, I can still enjoy their pizza!

Comments are closed.