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Have a Gluten Conscious Cookie

Panera CEO on self-respect, and why he often avoids gluten

Q: I noticed Panera has a “gluten-conscious cookie.” What does that mean?

A: That is gluten-free cookies in a world where the lawyers won’t let you say “gluten free.” You cannot walk into a Panera and be a celiac without having flour dust in the air. We’re not telling you this is celiac standard. So our lawyers say we can’t say gluten free. They’re gluten conscious.

Having said that, there is no gluten in that cookie. That doesn’t mean that your personal injury lawyers have permission to go after us.

Remember this the next time your friend is standing in line next to you at the pizza shop asking if they have gluten free pizza.  If they really were allergic to Gluten, a.k.a. they have celiac disease, they would not be standing next to you while Nick Papagiorgio is tossing pies in the air. 

P.S. For the sake of those that really do suffer from celiac, please don’t minimize their life or death issue with your fad of the week.  If 99 people walk into a restaurant pretending to have an issue, the chances of the chef taking the person who is actually suffering seriously is diminished.  That could have dire consequences.