Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Jersey Mike's Subs Introducing Gluten-Free Rolls Nationwide

I can report exclusively that after receiving positive reviews in several test markets, Jersey Mike’s Subs is introducing gluten-free sub rolls at all 1,300-plus U.S. locations beginning Dec. 4. Jersey Mike’s has partnered with Udi’s Gluten Free after testing the bakery's sub rolls in several markets, including stores in Denver, Los Angeles and West Palm Beach.

“The idea of offering gluten-free rolls came from a franchisee whose daughter had celiac disease,” explained Michael Manzo, Jersey Mike's Chief Operating Officer. “Before going national, we decided to try a pilot in several markets and we are happy to report success: customers loved the taste and they were excited to be able to eat a Jersey Mike’s sub sandwich again - or for the very first time.”

Gluten-free rolls from another company, Wild Flour Bakery, had been tested in the Philadelphia region, New Jersey and North Carolina as part of the pilot program. Manzo said that while many customers responded well to Wild Flour's version, which came proofed and were baked in house, from an operational standpoint it will be easier for stores to serve the Udi's product. (Locations that had been using Wild Flour rolls have already switched over to Udi's.)

To prepare for the national launch, Manzo said the company has produced an instructional video for employees and is training staff how to carefully incorporate the new product into sandwich preparation. The Udi’s rolls arrive at each store individually wrapped and fully baked. Because the packaging is not opened until the sub is ordered, Manzo says there is little risk of cross-contamination with other subs. Additionally, employees wear new gloves when handling the rolls and use dedicated knives and other utensils that haven’t touched other bread products. They also prepare each sandwich on parchment paper to avoid contact with gluten and will utilize separate condiment containers. Customers can request that toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes and onions be taken from stock in the stores’ walk-in refrigerators. Jersey Mike's is working with the Gluten Intolerance Group to obtain certification. The company is also considering adding a gluten-free dessert option.

The Udi’s roll can be used for most hot or cold subs on Jersey Mike’s menu (some contain gluten, such as Meatball and Cheese, Chicken Parmesan and Teriyaki Chicken). The additional charge for gluten-free sandwiches may vary from store to store, but is likely to be between $1 to $2 for regular sizes and $3 to $4 for giant sizes.

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