~The Red Robin information and gift cards have been provided by Red Robin. Opinions and stories and the love of Red Robin are all my own.~
This month is all about National Allergy Awareness. In fact, this week (the 11th – 17th) is Food Allergy Awareness Week and takes on the important role of educating the public about food allergies. According to Food Allergy Research & Education, there are nearly 6 million children in the U.S. living with a food allergy, my son happens to be one of them.
A few years ago we had the unfortunate experiencing of seeing what happens when our child ate something his body couldn’t handle. A cashew became a life threatening food and we became carriers of the Epi-Pen and little posters everywhere with his adorable face with captions that said, “I’m Allergic to Tree Nuts”. As every allergy suffer knows, going out to eat becomes a task, often a risk, and it’s hard when you want to dine out with family or friends. So I was really excited to see that Red Robin, one of my FAVORITE restaurants, had created the Allergen Friendly Interactive Menu!
The Allergen Friendly Menu is very easy to use. Although I had looked it over at home prior to going to the restaurant, you can view it on your Smartphone or Tablet. If you don’t have the option of those, Red Robin will provide assistance with a restaurant-provided tablet to help you make your choices!
When using the menu, first you select which allergens you want to avoid. It will then ask you for the category of your option (ie: appetizers, burgers, etc.). Once you have chosen the category, you can choose from the options available on the list. For instance, I selected to avoid Tree Nuts. I then chose the Kid Menu Favorites and found that Chick-Chick-Chicken Fingers would be suitable as long as there was no Red Robin Seasoning.
Red Robin trains their restaurant Team Members to allow guests to modify their Red Robin food or beverage order to suit their needs. If a guest has a food allergy, the Red Robin team member will ring in the order with an allergy alert and bright type so it is clear on the table order. This allergen alert appears in easily noticeable bright, red and bold letters on the order and notifies the kitchen that a special allergen kit is required for the order. Red Robin uses allergen kits to prepare all allergen orders. The kits include tools that are for use on allergen orders only and are purple to clearly distinguish them from other kitchen tools. Purple is the color of Allergen Awareness!
I was really happy to see that the Tower of Onion Rings was on Judah’s list. Although it does state that they are cooked in a common fryer, we are thankful that very minor traces of his allergen isn’t as life threatening as it is to some. Those of you with children with severe life threatening allergens, do be aware that most fried foods are cooked in a common fryer.
My teen and I used to go to Red Robin for his birthday every year when he was little so it’s become a special place for us. We got to get our favorite meals and the delicious Bottomless Freckled Lemonades! The kids were so happy. We hadn’t gotten to get out and have a family dinner in awhile and it just made it really special that we didn’t have to restrict my son based on his dietary needs. I wish I had a photo of his face the moment that Tower of Onion Rings came through!
The Red Robin staff have always been so polite. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Red Robin where the service wasn’t exceptional. My teen was happily trying to find the bottom of the Bottomless Freckled Lemonades and my husband and Tot colored on the Kid’s Menu. It was a great moment, one that every family should have the opportunity to have, but the best part was when they brought out the Gooey Chocolate Brownie Cake.
I think that sealed the deal for us! We may never go anywhere else ever again!
Just this afternoon Judah was going on and on about how we have to go back and get another Tower of Onion Rings. He loves it there, just as his big brother had all the years when he was young (and now). This is how family traditions begin and it’s wonderful not to have exclusions placed on it for allergy concerns.
You can check out Red Robin’s Allergen Friendly Interactive Menu for yourself. There is also a Nutrition Menu for those of you that don’t have allergen concerns, but want to keep up with nutrition this season! Make sure you take a moment to “Like” Red Robin on Facebook or @RedRobinBurgers on Twitter and share your appreciation for their part in bringing awareness to Food Allergies!
Don’t forget to share pics of your food on Red Robin Instagram!