Just under 1,000 outlets across the UK
Silver Gilt Winner 2018
The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards do understand that while good control systems can be implemented and interesting freefrom menus offered throughout a chain, it is all but impossible, no matter how well they are trained, to guarantee that all staff (of which there may be many hundreds if not thousands) will always be as caring, careful and allergy aware as one might wish. We take this into account when judging entries.
Our judges visit a number of outlets across the country. Comments are drawn from all of them.
Judges comments - September 2018
'WOW I was actually blown away by the Knight's Templar in Bristol. Staff so welcoming and when I explained about various allergies they took it seriously and were very knowledgeable. I asked about gluten free, dairy free and vegan options in particular and they went to double check various ingredients such as in the guacamole to ensure it was suitable.'
'Staff seemed a little frantic and busy, but immediately presented me with gluten and dairy free menus. The lady was a little confused that I would want to see the full allergy folder as egg was not covered by a 'special' menu. When we ordered she knew immediately what adaptations had to be made to make my dish gluten free (substituting the naan for extra popadums).'
'Great choice on their GF menu. The menu notes, vegetarian and calories but I couldn't see any other allergens on there. However, the waitress was knowledgeable and keen to help.'
'The fried dishes were clearly fresh and my daughter's fish was really nicely cooked and a generous portion.' 'Mushroom Risotto was stiff and dry, perhaps having been microwaved from frozen. Hummus & Nachos had insufficient hummus for the Nachos with only moderate consumption!'
'Definitely very good value for money. Lots to eat and the staff were just lovely.'
'For a national chain with 100s of venues to have dedicated GF and DF and Vegan dishes and be adding to those periodically is simply fantastic. As with any major chain experience will vary between visits and venues. This visit did not amaze but the commitment is hugely appreciated. Wetherspoons, please continue & do more. Especially do more on the desserts! Apple Crumble is good. go further!'
NB. Sadly, in an Twitter exchange recently Wetherspoons suggested that frying foods at a high temperature would destroy any residual gluten in the food, which is not the case. A great shame that their social media department does not appear to be as allergy aware as our judges found their restaurants to be.