Allergens training has been extended to all members of our pub teams, food development team, marketing, customer services and operations teams. The training has reinforced how highly we value the importance of equipping our teams with the right knowledge regarding allergens. We have also launched an allergy auditing programme, which will include visits by mystery guests to managed pubs.
We continue to work with our suppliers to record key drink ingredients to provide clarity to our pub teams and guests. Our intention is to engage with these suppliers in future through our new food information system, in order to expand the detail collected on drinks ingredients.
Our highest requests for information on food are from our guests who are coeliac or intolerant to gluten and wheat and to make their visit to our pubs more enjoyable we have developed our product range so that approximately 66% is free of gluten. Development has not stopped with the product itself. We have NGCI (non-gluten containing ingredients) menus for the majority of our company menus - these feature dishes made with ingredients which do not contain wheat or gluten were launched so that customers can choose their food along with the rest of their party. The kitchen tickets clearly identify that the dish is from the special menu, avoiding potential customer discomfort. Pubs love these menus as they relieve pressure on staff, particularly at busy times, removing the need to remember or locate very complex information to answer the guest's questions
We have embarked on a major project to enhance our food information system in 2021. The new system will improve the collection of information from the supplier on nutrition, allergens, safety and ESG factors. This information will be delivered through our pub teams, including the kitchen team to ensure that guest choice regarding food, particularly regarding allergens, is adhered to with a high degree of accuracy.
We maintain an online app for all our core menus to show the allergens present in each dish on our menus. The app is interactive and allows our customers to highlight the allergens they need to avoid and the app generates a menu specific to their requirements.
For instance our pub the Oddfellows (Compton, WV6 8AA) includes on its website a link our allergen app: rotisserie.marstons.co.uk.
This allows customers to conveniently view the menu before arriving at the pub, or in pub itself where our staff are trained to assist. In addition to allergen information on the app we also offer Non-gluten containing ingredient (NGCI) menus in the majority of our pubs. These make it easy for our customers to see a range of dishes that are free of gluten or have been adapted to be free of gluten.
We are aware that a growing number of customers are turning to vegetarian and vegan diets either full time or restricting their consumption of meat on certain days of the week. All our core menus offer a range of vegetarian dishes and we endeavour to ensure we have a vegan choice of starter, main course and dessert for each of our menus.