Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department. While some restaurants are too afraid to take this risk with their guests, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar is one restaurant that welcomes those with food allergies.
“My daughter has tree-nut allergies, so I understand how hard it can be to eat out,” said General Manager Stacey Scott.
Paisans has a policy of accommodating all reasonable needs of a guest with food allergies. The chefs must clean all surfaces and utensils to prepare for a special order. During orientation and training, servers are taught how to handle these special requests.
“It’s not the server’s job to guess,” said Scott. “We tell our servers to get all the details and get a manager involved, if needed.”
Scott estimates that 20 to 30 people come in a week with food allergies. Some of the items on the menu can be prepared gluten-free. Other allergens can also be accommodated for.
“Every time we tell them about our gluten allergy, our server or bartender is very accommodating,” said Janine J., a Berwyn reviewer on Yelp.com.
Paisans’ executive chef, known as “Chef,” and two sous chefs, Sergio and Fransisco, are in charge of kitchen management. These three chefs rotate shifts to ensure that an experienced chef is on deck at all times during Paisans’ open hours. They oversee all special requests in the kitchen.
“We do the best we can and are willing to go above and beyond to accommodate if its within our control,” said Scott. “We don’t want you to leave hungry.”