[Zizzi’s freshly made Gluten Free Fiorentina pizza at their Notting Hill Branch, London
We’d rate the Gluten Free pizza as 7/10 - a great start!]
Here’s a Newsflash we think you’ll love! Zizzi the UK Italian restaurant chain have launched a Gluten Free pizza! Obviously like any restaurant they can’t and won’t guarantee it’s a 100% Gluten Free - that’d be foolish as mistakes happen. Yet unlike Domino’s in USA they are doing their best to minimise any cross contamination with their normal gluten products and have put processes in place to try and avoid it. More on that shortly. Now we know many of you are already big Zizzi fans. After all there’s still very few places you can pop into a high street restaurant in the UK and order a gluten free pasta with a great gluten free sauce. We’ve long been fans of Zizzi’s Allergy menu and can often be found enjoying the Dove’s Farm pasta they serve in many of their restaurants. It’s a rare treat to be able to eat pasta in a restaurant which only fellow Coeliacs understand.
So when we heard they were launching a gluten free pizza trial we were over the moon. And excited. Zizzi have worked hard to beat their competition by using fresh products, introducing creative recipes and increasing their social responsibility profile - see their new campaign with Gizzi and The Prince’s Trust. How would they fair making pizza for Coeliacs? We had a LOT of questions. So we asked Zizzi HQ about how they were minimising the risk to coeliacs who wanted to try the freshly made Gluten Free pizza and we also insisted on trying it for ourselves before we wrote about it. See below for the full Q&A. As regular blog readers will know - we eat out regularly yet we only blog about products or brands we believe in and try ourselves. So you won’t find blogs on here about cakes and biscuits that companies have sent us. Instead we hunt down the unusual brands and companies that are doing their bit to embrace Coeliac customers.
So this blog post focuses on:
- What you need to know about the trial
- Our Q&A with Zizzi HQ about the new GF Pizza
Here’s what you need to know about the trial in a nutshell:
There’s just 5 trial branches:
Zizzi have chosen these on the basis that they get the most gluten free food orders..
- London, Notting Hill
Notting Hill Gate (2 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JE T: 0207 243 2888)
- London, Earls Court (great after the Allergy show!)
Earls Court (194 Earls Court Road, SW5 9QF T: 0207 370 1999)
- Bluewater, Kent
Bluewater (West Village, DA9 9SE T: 01322 387337)
- Farnham, Surrey
Farnham, (68 Castle St, Farnham, Surrey GU9 T: 01252 719 231)
- Newcastle, Grey Street
42 Grey Street, (NE1 6AE T: 0191 261 8360)
- Each branch will provide diners with specific feedback form for the Gluten Free Pizza
- Make sure you ask or fill one in if you try it as Zizzi will review these to see if the trial has been a success
- Use the hashtag #zizziglutenfree for news & feedback on the trial
- You can contact Zizzi on twitter @wearezizzi
- You can tweet us your feedback as well @gfguerrillas
Q&A with Zizzi HQ:
GFGs: We think a gluten free pizza is a great idea and we know many of our Guerrilla fans have emailed you asking for one. But what’s motivated you as a company to create a gluten free pizza trial and why now?
Zizzi: We want to be a restaurant chain where everybody can feel comfortable dinning with us, not only that but we feel that everybody should be able to have a pizza! We would love for gluten-free diners to know they definitely have a place at our restaurants and are not an inconvenience. We’ve had lots of requests for gluten free pizzas and we realised the best way to gain feedback was to launch a small trial. Our gluten free pasta has been very successful and we hope this will be too. So please do pass on your constructive feedback.
GFGs: What are the gluten free ingredients in the pizza ?
Zizzi: Potato Starch, Corn Starch, Egg White Powder, Dextrose, Rice Starch Thickening Agents, Iodised Salt, Leavening Agents, Emulsifiers, Inulin, Burnt Sugar.
GFGs: How is the gluten free pizza made?
Zizzi: The pizza is made to order, unlike most other restaurants which use frozen pre-made bases for their gluten-free choice.This is something that we want to adopt in the future and really want to get this right so gluten-free diners can feel comfortable coming to our restaurants knowing that they have plenty of options on our menu.
GFGs: How are you trying to avoid cross contamination with other gluten items in your kitchens?
Zizzi: The gluten free flour is mixed with water in a shaker and shaken (the shaker will only be used for this purpose, so no contamination). It is then poured into a tray (again the tray is just used for this). The tray is then put in the main pizza oven for several minutes and then flipped so the base won’t be soggy, after that sauce and toppings are added.
GFGs: How will you avoid cross contamination between the normal pizza toppings & sauce & the new gluten free ones?
Zizzi: In terms of toppings only the meatballs contain gluten, so all other toppings should be safe and our staff will be washing their hands to make the gluten free pizzas. We are actually using a different sauce for these pizzas to avoid cross-contamination as the spoodle (spoon/ladle) will have touched our regular pizzas. Similarly garlic butter will not be used as the brush will have come in contact with gluten.
GFGs: Staff training is the key to safe gluten free dining for Coeliacs. How are you going to ensure there is consistency of gluten free pizza quality across your trial restaurants and that they are all following best practice processes to avoid cross contamination?
Zizzi: All of our staff at trail branches have received a launch pack with details of the trial, this includes everything to do with avoiding cross-contamination and making sure that all of our staff are up to date with what is involved with the trial. Included in this launch pack will be a questionnaire for gluten free pizza feedback.
GFGs: How much will the pizza cost?
Zizzi: The price will be the same as for our regular pizzas.
[GFGs say..Great we’re not being charged more for GF. Nice change! Prices £9.95 + and you can add extra toppings]
GFGs: Which pizza can Coeliacs order?
Zizzi: Our normal classic round pizzas with any of the toppings apart from the meatballs as they contain gluten.
GFGs: Is there also any gluten free garlic bread?
Zizzi: No not yet - we’re taking small steps. Maybe in future!
GFGs: How are you marketing the trial?
Zizzi: Via our normal channels, our website, Facebook page, Twitter feed.
GFGs: Will the new gluten free pizza be included in your Allergen menu at the trial branches?
Zizzi: No - as this is just a trial we won’t be reprinting these. Instead customers can just ask the Manager and Waiters for the gluten free pizza. They’ll be given the normal menu with the Classic pizza options to chose from.
GFGs: What about people who aren’t on Twitter or Facebook? Will you be advertising the gluten free trial on your boards outside your branches or on table toppers within the branch?
Zizzi: No as this is a specific trial we’re only promoting it via our normal online channels and hope that you’ll tell all your Gluten Free Guerrillas too.
GFGs: How long will the trial last?
Zizzi: There’s no set time limit. Instead each trial branch has enough gluten free mix to make around 50 to 70 gluten free pizzas.
GFGs: How will you assess if the gluten free pizza trial has been a success?
Zizzi: There will be a specific questionnaire which will be given to each person who has the gluten free pizza, that along with the feedback from the restaurants will be what determines whether this is a successful trial.
Will you be trying the new gluten free pizza?
So tell us - will you be trying Zizzi’s new gluten free pizza? If so don’t forget to tweet us and let us know what you think. Also visit our Facebook page for tips on ordering in Zizzi. As always do ask about cross contamination and alert the Zizzi manager to any other intolerances or dietary requirements you have.
Who knows - if the trial is a success maybe we’ll see gluten free pizza at every Zizzi?! That’s be a huge treat for Coeliacs.
What do you think? Add a comment under the blog!
Great idea or fearful? When was the last time you ate a pizza? Before diagnosis or elsewhere GF?
Want to read other peoples comments?
Don’t forget to click on ‘notes’ under the blog post. If you’re on Tumblr you know the dealio if not then just click and enter your email address to post as you would on any other site. Looking forward to your thoughts!
PS: We’d rate the Gluten Free pizza as 7/10 - a great start. Needs some tweaks (base can be very soft). Yet great fresh tasting toppings, staff answered questions well in branches. So nice to actually order a pizza like in pre-coeliac days. The full low-down on our taster and mystery dining experience to follow in our next blog very soon!