Having been gluten, wheat and dairy free food manufacturers in North Devon for over ten years, Jocelyn & Ferenc Droppa moved into food allergen training, with emphasis on gluten free, when the law changed in 2011. Since then, the law has been updated and amended and thus the business re-focused and now solely concentrates on training. The company offers two packages depending on the needs and size of your business.
Gluten free training will add value to your bottom line
Here are the results from a recent survey we conducted amongst coeliac social media groups: (Click here to see the full survey results)
70% dictate where they eat within their friends and family dining group….
90% ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ return to the establishment that catered well….
87% ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ steer clear of venues where the first point of contact didn’t fill them with confidence….
95% stated that it’s very important that the server is fully aware of a gluten free diet….
Over 70% of diners have still been made ill by eating a ‘gluten free’ meal.
Can you afford not to cater effectively for this group of diners?
The ‘gluten free pound’ is ever increasing and if the ‘eating out decision makers’ (namely the coeliacs) are well catered for, they will very quickly become loyal customers. They will return to your establishment time and again and bring their entourage with them! ‘Catering for a gluten free diet’ provides guidance and practical solutions to enable you to implement ‘best practice’ procedures, which are designed to make diners feel comfortable and confident about eating out.
The training is broken down into bite size chunks which makes it easy to get your staff up to speed quickly. The content is clear and concise and accessible to all your team including: part-time, seasonal and temporary members of staff.
Click on the play button below to watch a short promotional video:
In 2010 we identified a need to develop training for catering establishments that had a desire to cater for coeliacs and those people who are intolerant or sensitive to wheat and / or dairy. The training was designed to provide guidance on how to implement effective process management in the work place. We realised we could do this by providing you and your staff the necessary tools to easily communicate to diners that you have fully understood their condition and that you have adopted best practice to ensure the risk of cross contamination is kept to an absolute minimum.
“….provides guidance and practical solutions to enable businesses to implement ‘best practice’ procedures.”
The training equips your staff with the necessary critical knowledge and awareness to be able to develop menus and to create an environment that can safely cater for a gluten free diet. It also provides you with best practice templates for all the EU recognised allergens, including guidance and reference documentation in respect of labelling.
Coeliac diners do not dine alone – they eat out with friends and family.
If you understand the needs of your gluten free diners they will return with their entourage time and time again. So, you’re actually winning several new customers – not just the coeliac.
Train your staff so that they are as knowledgeable as you, so that the whole organisation ‘sings from the same song sheet’. This ensures a consistent approach to allergen management thus minimising risks and mistakes.
Confidence stems from knowledge which leads to excellence in customer service and allows your establishment to stand out from the crowd.
The training includes two reference manuals which are designed to help you comply with the allergen labelling / declaration laws which came into effect on December 13th 2014. The first can be easily overwritten to produce your own allergen reference manual. The second is designed with dynamic menus in mind. Dynamic in this instance refers to menus that change from week to week or even on a daily basis.
Along with the reference manuals there is a practical guide to allergen labelling and declarations as detailed in the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU 1169/2011) with real-world solutions that result in compliance.
In January 2012 EU legislation came into effect to address claims you can and cannot make in respect of gluten free options on your menu.
We work closely with our local Environmental Health department, Trading Standards and the Food Standards Agency to ensure compliance with the law. We regularly review and update our training materials so if there are any updates or amendments to the law we will inform you as they happen.
Critically, the course makes it possible for the front of house, restaurant and kitchen staff to all undergo training without having to leave the workplace. Your staff will effectively manage your GLUTEN FREE offering. The course content is informative and easy to follow.
“…understanding the needs of your gluten free diners will win you several new customers”
There are many employees working within the catering sector who are unaware of gluten, where it appears in food and the effects of its ingestion on coeliacs.
The training will help you and your staff analyse current procedures and highlight measures to prevent cross contamination. It offers guidance and practical solutions, which you can implement directly to ensure safe working practices that your customers can trust. Ultimately, you want your diners to feel comfortable about eating out and have confidence in the eatery they have chosen.
Having been a manufacturer, we have supplied many of the top food establishments in the country with our gluten, wheat and dairy free range of baked goods. We will share our trade secrets in the recipes, the best ingredients to use and the necessary know how to provide you with an outstanding gluten free offering – no more long life mass produced pap – really set yourselves apart.
Each month we will present at least three gluten free recipes in the form of YouTube tutorials. Covering starters, mains, desserts and afternoon tea goodies, we will show you how you can make tasty dishes that are suitable for all your diners, with minimal disruption to the kitchen. We will endeavour to use easy-to-come-by ingredients including seasonal produce wherever possible.
Our help line is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can reach us by either telephone and/or email. If we are not available immediately, we promise to respond to you within 24 hours.
The training is neatly delivered via three distinct modules:
Module one is designed to take the fear out of catering for a gluten free diet. After completing this Module you will have a clear understanding of what gluten is, what it does and why it’s so harmful to a coeliac.
Module two looks at what the law has to say on the matter; foods that do, foods that don’t and foods that may contain gluten; and the positive impact a gluten free offering can have on your business. This module also looks at labelling and the law, which has made it so much easier in lots of ways to identify gluten.
Module three is arguably the most critical and looks at how you communicate with your customers, from the initial contact to the point of serving, procurement and the risks you’re most likely to encounter when preparing gluten free meals. Each risk of cross contamination is assessed in turn and potential solutions are presented to effectively manage the risk.
Each one of the two on-site training sessions lasts for approximately three hours, allowing for Q&As. There will be a short quiz at the end to gauge the delegates’ understanding.
Since the training is sold on a ‘per establishment’ basis, for the purposes of accreditation and certification we will need to review your Process Management Template before we can issue a certificate. Along with the review, you will be asked to nominate an individual who will be a ‘champion’ in the area of gluten free. They will take the test on behalf of the establishment. If this individual passes, they will receive two certificates, one in their name on behalf of the establishment for display purposes; and the other as an individual certificate.
All delegates are eligible to take the test and we can help you monitor their progress and understanding. If they pass the test we will create and issue personalised certificates in PDF format, which are non-establishment specific. If they fail the test, we will keep you informed and they will have an opportunity to resit the test on-line at no extra cost.
Jocelyn and Ferenc Droppa ran a gluten, wheat and dairy free bakery in North Devon from April 2005 until July 2015. All the ingredients they used were inherently gluten free or contained less than 10 parts per million gluten. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that they are extremely aux fait with making gluten, wheat and dairy free foods; and also very well placed to offer practical advice and support to the food service industry in respect of catering for coeliacs and those who are intolerant to wheat and / or dairy.
Jocelyn was diagnosed a coeliac in 1995. This presents a real problem as she’s a ‘foody’ who loves to eat out. Inevitably, she ends up eating in the same places and ordering the plainest food where there can’t possibly be any gluten involved in the cooking process. Sadly, even then, she is often ill, which can only come about as a result of cross contamination.
As a coeliac, Jocelyn monitors and actively contributes to on-line forums on a daily basis. This enables her to keep up-to-date with developments in the gluten free marketplace; as well as offering an insight into how fellow coeliacs, both old and new, manage their gluten free diets.
Both Jocelyn and Ferenc are acutely aware of the measures required to ensure cross contamination does not occur in the preparation and cooking of free from foods.
The following are case studies of establishments that have undertaken our food allergen training, with emphasis on gluten free, and successfully implemented the relevant processes and procedures to effectively manage the dietary needs of their customers.
A 4-star hotel in Egham, Surrey nestling on the banks of the River Thames. The hotel started buying gluten, wheat and dairy free food from Droppa & Droppa back in 2009. Glenn Masson has always been acutely aware that it is not just about having a gluten free option on your menu – it’s about how you manage that option. It’s not enough to just serve a gluten free sandwich anymore. In today’s world diners expect all staff in catering establishments to have a clear understanding of the issues faced by someone following a gluten free diet. The staff must be fully aware of the risk of cross contamination associated with storage, plating and serving and should empathise with diners, so they do not feel that they are being awkward or difficult in their menu choice.
When Droppa & Droppa approached Mr Masson with a view to training all the hotel staff in gluten free procedures, he immediately discussed the opportunity with other colleagues throughout the business. How much better, that everyone who comes into contact with the diner, can help put them at ease; or leave them running for the door if they feel that there is a lack of understanding; or worse still nonchalance. Mr Masson said:
“Although we have always been able to offer gluten free options on our menu, continuity in training new and seasonal staff has consistently proved to be a challenge. Our training has not been as proactive as we would have liked with many staff ‘learning about gluten free on the job’. Learning on the job is fine up to a point, but a ‘knowledge gap’ can leave a business exposed. With this easy to follow course, we have trained our staff to the highest standard and we feel very confident about how we manage our gluten free offering, not only in the kitchen, but throughout the hotel. Legal knowledge, practical advice and helpful common-sense tips have ensured that diners are very comfortable about eating here, knowing that every step has been taken to ensure that their gluten free meal is exactly what they expect from us. I would highly recommend this training to anyone who deals in catering, whatever their position.”
Based in Rotherham, the school specialises in Autism. The school’s aim is “….to teach autistic children the skills they need to learn confidently and live as independently as possible in the future.”
Debbie Shelton, The Catering Co-ordinator for the school approached Droppa & Droppa in October 2014 to train the internal catering staff in how to effectively manage the department’s gluten free offering. Due to the fact that they were a single site establishment and the logistical distance, we produced a training video, which they were able to watch on-line or on DVD as often as they liked. Three staff (including Debbie) undertook the training and all passed with flying colours.
This is what Ms Shelton had to say about the training:
“I’d like to thank you for producing an excellent and easy to follow ‘Gluten Free Diet’ DVD, this has effectively helped us manage and cater for a gluten free diet. We’ve used the template you provided to implement our ‘best practice’ procedure which has been incorporated into our HACCP. This will also be available for easy access for our local Environmental Health Officer to prove we’ve successfully implemented a ‘best practice’ procedure.
Two of our catering team have also completed the course which they thought was very helpful and helped to expand their knowledge. Their certificates are in full view for all staff and pupils to see, which they are very proud of.”
A few months down the line Droppa & Droppa asked Ms Shelton how the training was working for them post-implementation and this is what she said:
“Having implemented the training in the school itself, we subsequently rolled out the training to both the Residential Unit and The Respite Unit, so that all areas were knowledgeable and consistent. We carry out regular internal refreshers re: the training and procedures, so that good practice is continuously re-enforced. In the last Ofsted report, Debbie and the Catering team received a “Good”, which they are absolutely delighted about.”
A 20 acre private garden with three lakes, set in a valley, tucked away in North Devon. Created by Dr Jimmy Smart VMH in the late 1950’s the gardens are a haven in which to relax and enjoy an impressive collection of plants, shrubs and trees and experience wonderful views and a peaceful atmosphere.
At the beginning of 2012 Patricia Stout, along with a colleague of hers, attended one of the first of Droppa & Droppa’s face-to-face training Seminars. On their return to work they carefully analysed their procedures both in the kitchen and also in the dining area. They then made the necessary adjustments to ensure the risk of cross contamination was kept to an absolute minimum and that all staff were fully conversant with providing a safe gluten free meal from the kitchen right through to the point of serving. The procedures they adopted are robust and continue to serve them well today.
Mrs Stout said of the training:
“It has provided our Tearoom staff with the necessary tools to easily communicate to its diners that their dietary needs are fully understood. Consequently, the Tearoom has been able to create an environment that safely caters for a gluten free diet. Ultimately, the aim was to make diners feel comfortable and confident about eating out and it’s certainly achieved that.”