Navigating a restaurant menu when you have food allergies can zap all the fun from dining out.
But it doesn't have to -- if you know where to eat.
In that spirit, AllergyEats, an online guide to allergy-friendly restaurants, has released its annual ranking of chain restaurants that best serve customers with food allergies. "These restaurants have demonstrated a superior willingness and ability to accommodate guests with food allergies," Paul Antico, founder and CEO of AllergyEats, said in a statement. "We applaud their exemplary efforts around food allergy protocols, training and education."
The ranking was compiled based on ratings for each restaurant, as provided by the tens of thousands of AllergyEats users who rate restaurants they've visited, similar to how diners, food-allergic or not, can voice their opinions on Yelp, an AllergyEats representative told The Huffington Post in an email. AllergyEats then broke down the rankings into three categories of restaurants. Large chains have more than 200 branches, medium chains have 50 to 200 and small chains have fewer than 50.
Taking allergies into consideration is a smart move for the businesses themselves, Antico, who has three children with food allergies, pointed out. "Statistics have shown that maintaining a more allergy-friendly restaurant leads to increased traffic, customer loyalty and, ultimately, profits."
Here are the top 15 choices, according to AllergyEats.