Pei Wei Does It Right!

I’ve got to hand it to Pei Wei; they really do it right. Not only do they have a gluten-free menu, their customer service is superb.

Today was a hectic one. We had planned to clean out the office so I was expecting a relaxed, jeans wearing sort of day. Of course things rarely turn out as expected.

First, we had no internet, which meant no email. Most of our business moves back and forth via email with very large attachments. When that method isn’t available, much driving around is required.

Then there was an urgent pick up, and before I knew it, I was two hours behind and needing to grab a quick lunch. I was close to Pei Wei, so I called 411, got the number, and made a call.

A friendly girl answered my call and asked how she could help. I said, “I’d like to place an order to go.” She asked, “Is this Cheri”? “Yes,” I replied feeling surprised. “Would you like gluten-free edamame, and a gluten-free Pei Wei spicy chicken with brown rice?” she inquired. “That would be perfect,” I said still feeling a bit dazed.

Pei Wei

It really was that easy. When I arrived 10 minutes later, my order was ready. Each container was marked with a gluten-free sticker, and the enclosed soy sauce packets were Tamari. A quick debit card swipe and I was headed back to my card with a bag of food in my hand.

Since I don’t often order from Pei Wei, I did not anticipate this personalized interaction. They used technology to create a customer service experience that exceeded my expectations. Not only that, but they made getting gluten-free take out easier than pie on a day when I was already overwhelmed. For that, I am grateful.

If you’re in a hurry and need to stick with your gluten-free plan, give Pei Wei a call. They may already know exactly what you want to order.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Travel Tip #2 – Preview your gluten-free restaurant options.

I don’t know about you, but most of my recent travel has involved unexpected delays. That often means that I arrive at my hotel tired, hungry and ready to relax over dinner with a glass of wine. It also means that I don’t want a huge gap between dropping off my bags and heading for a restaurant. Of course I can usually find a gluten-free option at any restaurant, but when I’m already travel weary I like to minimize the difficulty.

Most of us spend some time searching the web when we’re planning a trip. Even if we choose to book our airline and hotel tickets over the phone, we’re either previewing flights, mapping hotels, or looking at our destination’s community calendar in advance. While we’re searching, it’s easy to add a gluten-free food search to the mix.

Screen Shot
Gluten-Free Search

Once you’ve mapped your hotel or bed & breakfast, map the closest restaurant, bakery or health food store that offers gluten-free options. Print a copy of the map and place it in your carryon or bookmark the map link on your mobile device for easy access. Being prepared will allow you to focus on the often swiftly changing logistical details of your trip with the confidence that you’ll be eating with ease once you arrive.

Of course your search may turn up a plethora of local restaurants you’ll want to sample before your trip is over. Knowing these in advance will allow you to make reservations when required and have an address handy when a colleague wants to know where to meet you.

On one recent trip, my advance search showed me a scrumptious coffee shop around the corner from my friend’s apartment that featured treats from a local gluten-free bakery. With that to look forward to, I finished off my airplane carryon food upon arrival and headed for the bakery the next morning.  I was not disappointed by the fare, and I was thrilled that there was no need to burden my friend with a dietary discussion before we’d even had a cup of coffee.

If you’re staying in a more rural area and an advance search turns up no options other than the local grocery, you’ll know that a refrigerator in your hotel room will be a plus. The ability to store yogurt, cheese, or a leftover piece of steak gives you more possibilities than having to rely on fruit, nuts, or a pouch of tuna if the next restaurant you try doesn’t have suitable options.

Spending a little time preparing in the comfort of my home gives me more resources for enjoyment when I reach my destination. For me, that feels like time well spent. Let me know how it feels for you.