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trend and share how restaurants can take advantage of the popularity of this movement to attract more customers. Part of the popularity behind GF foods is their versatility. There are GF alternatives for just about every type of traditional grain, and most come with much more health benefits, including lower fat content and higher protein and fiber levels. In 2016, GF options were present in roughly 33 percent of fast casual restaurants, 25 percent of fine dining restaurants, and 13 percent of national chains (Packaged Facts, 2016). As more and more consumers embrace the healthy eating trend in general, we can expect these figures to rise in the coming years. The rise in demand for GF foods has big implications for the restaurant industry. Instead of offering one or two thrown-together options, if any at all, for the minority of customers who used to request them, restaurants are now showcasing more GF menu items, knowing that the demand is coming from those with gluten intolerance as well as those who prefer this type of food for its health benefits. Here are some local eateries that are putting a GF twist on traditional favorites. The Happy Tart Entirely devoted to GF treats, this Virginia bakery has locations in Alexandria, Falls Church, and Del Ray (currently under renovation). Cakes, crepes, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, and fresh bread mean there’s no shortage of irresistible sweets for any palette. SWEETGREEN OFFERS A MENU WITH GF INGREDIENTS. PHOTO COURTESY SWEETGREEN

Eatery Pulse DC Restaurant News | Spring 2018