The New Gluten-Free Sandwiches at Jason’s Deli: A Progress Report

You’ve probably heard by now that Jason’s Deli is in the process of rolling out a gluten-free sandwich option. They’re using Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread, complemented by a full gluten-free menu, to make gluten-free diners in 25 states tout the Texas-based company with an enthusiasm usually reserved for small, dedicated bakeries and restaurants.

Now that the gluten-free sandwich program has been active for almost two full weeks, I wanted to investigate its progress. How many gluten-free diners were heading out to try the sandwiches? How many have approved? I’d already heard from Tiffany, read on some great blogs, and seen on this YouTube review that Udi’s makes a mean gluten-free whole grain bread, but I wanted to find out how Jason’sudisDeli was turning loaves over.

A summary: The small test market became a large test market on July 5th, but still, not all Jason’s Deli locations have gotten their first shipments of Udi’s bread. Those that have, though, report that the program is off to a good, crackling start, even if it hasn’t been an instant firework.

“We just started this week,” reported Manager Erin of the Shreveport, Louisiana location. She noted that they had received “a couple” of requests for the gluten-free sandwiches, but admitted that they weren’t exactly selling out.

Manager Brian of the 16th Street location in Denver sang a slightly different tune. “You know,” he said, “it has been increasingly popular. We probably get several requests a week, and we’re getting more as word gets around.” And word does get around in a town like Denver. With almost 30 options for gluten-free dining (according to our Restaurant Guide) in a relatively small city, Denverites have a solid gluten-free community that is bound to pass along good news like this.

All of the managers I contacted confirmed that Jason’s Deli employees had received proper training on preparing and serving gluten-free meals. They learned to clean the knives and boards that they use, as well as other preparation surfaces. Another big kudos to Jason’s: Every staff member who picked up the phone knew exactly what I was talking about when I asked about the gluten-free sandwiches (we all know that’s not always the case – ever been to a restaurant where the hostess doesn’t know about the gluten-free menu hiding under her stand?).

This training, the yummy bread, and all the publicity we’ve seen on so many gluten-free blogs has helped Jason’s to ignite what seems to be a slow, spreading fire in the gluten-free marketplace. Manager Paul of the North Hurstbourne location in Louisville, Kentucky, said they’ve been selling “a couple of gluten-free sandwiches a day,” and then he added that they’ve seen “a lot of people get really excited about it.”

All managers agreed that the gluten-free sandwiches would be available for awhile, and they all expressed hope that the news of their gluten-free sandwiches would spread by word of mouth. If they get enough business from the gluten-free additions, said Manager Brian of Denver, “these things will stick around indefinitely. I guarantee it.”

So, gluten-free diners, get out there and support this gluten-free initiative from Jason’s Deli. Buy yourself a gluten-free sandwich and tell us, in our comments section, how much you enjoyed it. Let other gluten-free diners know it’s worth it, so that they, too, go buy themselves sandwiches. Now that Jason’s has done its part, it’s up to us to make the gluten-free sandwiches stay on the menu for good! Plus, we’ll forward your comments to Jason’s Deli, because they deserve to know how much we appreciate their efforts!

16 thoughts on “The New Gluten-Free Sandwiches at Jason’s Deli: A Progress Report”

  1. Is there a list of which Jason’s Deli’s are part of this new, “large test market?” or does that mean that ALL Jason’s Deli’s now have GF sandwiches?

  2. Hi Andria,

    We’re working on finding out how many stores now have the GF sandwiches. Not all of them yet, but it seems like a significant number.

    You’ll know when we know!

  3. Just a second request to know which stores are carrying gluten-free bread. Would LOVE to support this initiative!

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on this!


  4. Ok! Finally got the scoop:

    ALL of the corporate stores are currently carrying the GF sandwiches. Some franchise locations are having trouble finding suppliers in their areas, BUT all stores are expected to have GF sandwiches “very soon.” I’d recommend calling your local Jason’s and asking them directly if they’ve gotten the bread yet.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Thanks, Laura! The Whole Foods in my area just started carrying Udi’s bread, so hopefully that means our Jason’s Deli does, too. I’ll give them a call and find out. This is so exciting!!

  6. My daughter was diagnosed with celiac about 2 years ago, and had her FIRST sandwich this past week at Jason’s Deli! (Omaha). She loved it! It was the first bread she’s tried that was truly edible!

  7. I have been to Jason’s twice and had the GF sandwiches. The manager has provided a separate work surface to make the sandwiches. He insists that gloves be changed and utensils be separated. My Jason’s in downtown Houston gets 1-2 GF requests a day. My only complain is that the bread has been slightly stale.

  8. Amy – that’s stellar news! I’m so glad your daughter is now able to eat sandwiches! And Twila – sorry to hear that the bread’s been stale. Where are you located?

  9. I’m in Greenville, SC and five days ago, for the first time in over 5 years (when I was diagnosed), I was able to go out to eat and order a gluten-free sandwich. It was fantastic! The staff was very knowledgeable about the new gluten-free bread, and I had to keep explaining to my dining companions why it was just so exciting for me.

    i have been keeping Udi’s bread at home (it is the best out there, hands down!) and the bread at Jason’s seemed to be slightly thicker than what I buy, but other than that, it was the same, great Udi’s bread.

    Hopefully this is the start of more and more restaurants offering more and more gluten-free options!

  10. I just called my local Jason’s deli (I’m in DFW TX area) and they said they do have a laminate printout of all the gluten free items that they carry and do not have the gluten free bread yet, but that is the next step for them. So, I’m looking forward to when they have that available. I called the Flower Mound store.

  11. I can’t wait to call the Jason’s Deli in Montgomery, AL to see if they now have a gluten-free menu and especially the new GF sandwich!

  12. I nearly kissed the manager when he handed me the gluten free menu. I’ve been thefe a few times before and always settled for a salad. The sandwich was GREAT! I had a turkey sandwich. Will definitely go back for more and to support!

  13. I ADORE that they give us the option. However, they are struggling at least at the local Jason’s to understand that gf is about more than offering safe bread. The first visit was great and I was encouraged. The second visit I had to fight with the staff for nearly five minutes because they put the “not safe” chips on my plate and wanted to just give me the “Safe” chips but not alter the sandwhich. I did get a manager to fix that one. The third visit had three plates on a tray that only fit two. My gf sandwich was touching both the other diner’s sandwiches. I struggled but decided to send it back, and spoke quietly the manager. I do not know what happened. Was the fruit cut on a contaminated board? (I thought fruit to stay away from the chip confusion). Was it the napkin? I don’t know, but I ended up very very very very sick for four long days from it all.

    I love that they are offering us more options, but for the sensitive celiacs it is not enough to just offer us udi’s bread.

  14. My 4 yo son and I are so excited to have gluten free sandwich at Jason’s Deli. It has been our Monday lunch spot for a while now and he was so excited to see that he could eat a sandwich instead of just a fruit plate! We are spreading the word and all our gf friends are so excited too!

  15. I just wanted to tell you I am in Amarillo, Texas & I just tried your gluten free bread on a California Club & it is so good. Thank you so much for giving it a whirl. I hope it does really well & you keep it. I could not believe how good the bread was after having tried some of the gluten free products. I just recently got told to avoid gluten.

    Thanks again,

  16. I’m so excited to find out that Jason’s is/will be serving GF sandwiches. I have eaten there in the past and love the menue choices. I recently found out that I need to be gluten free and am excited about being able to return to Jason’s for a meal.
    I live in Schaumburg,IL and am hoping that when I call them they have have begun serving GF.

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