After testing the waters in Boston, Uno Chicago Grill is doing a national roll-out of a gluten-free pizza, making the singular restaurant formally called Pizzeria the first national casual dining chain to go the gluten-free route.

The move will be a big hit with the one percent of the world with Coeliac disease, a genetic autoimmune disorder of the small intestine caused by a reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat.

“Food allergies are a very serious, sometimes life-threatening, issue for many Americans,” said Uno CEO Frank Guidara in a statement. “Pizza is our signature product, and we wanted to offer a gluten-free pizza so all of our guests could enjoy it when dining at Uno.”

“Consumer reaction was so positive in the gluten-free community that our restaurants began receiving requests to carry the new pizza,” noted Richard Hendrie, senior vice president of marketing for Uno. “Because the demand was so strong, we decided to pull out all the stops to get the gluten-free pizza into our 200-plus locations as quickly as possible.”

Uno claims the title of “America’s Healthiest Chain Restaurant” and already has one of the largest gluten-free menus in the country.

Guidara said that Uno spent over a year of research and development come up with a recipe that worked.

“While we want to meet the needs of guests with allergies, we never forget that we are about great taste and choice, and that means developing new dishes that are healthful without sacrificing great flavor.”

Uno was also the first national chain to stop using trans-fats.

There are more than 200 Uno Chicago Grill restaurants found in 31 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, according to the restaurant’s website.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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