Did Papa John’s get rid of gluten-free?

Papa John’s has long been known for offering gluten-free pizza options for customers with dietary restrictions. However, there have been recent rumors circulating that Papa John’s may have discontinued their gluten-free pizzas. As someone with celiac disease who relies on gluten-free menu options, this is an important question to have answered.

In this article, we will analyze the current state of Papa John’s gluten-free offerings. We will look at what gluten-free crusts and pizzas they have available, if they have made any announcements about discontinuing gluten-free, and what customers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity need to know about eating Papa John’s pizza. Having accurate and up-to-date information is crucial for those requiring gluten-free when ordering food.

What gluten-free pizzas does Papa John’s currently offer?

As of November 2023, Papa John’s still offers gluten-free crust and gluten-free pizzas at locations in the United States. On their online menu and mobile app, Papa John’s has a section dedicated to “Gluten Free Crust” where you can order a cheese or pepperoni pizza on a 10-inch gluten-free crust.

They also have pre-configured gluten-free pizza options including:

  • Gluten Free Cheese Pizza
  • Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza
  • Gluten Free Sausage Pizza
  • Gluten Free Chicken Alfredo Pizza
  • Gluten Free Vegetable Pizza

The full assortment of meats and vegetables that can be added to pizzas at Papa John’s can also be added to a gluten-free crust pizza. So in terms of customization options, those requiring gluten-free have nearly the same options for toppings as regular pizza.

So as of today, Papa John’s still offers multiple gluten-free pizzas and has not officially removed them from menus nationwide. But some customers have noted that availability can vary by location and stores may occasionally be out of stock of gluten-free crusts.

Has Papa John’s announced they would stop gluten-free pizza?

Papa John’s has made no announcements on their website or social media that they plan to discontinue their gluten-free pizza option. There have been no press releases saying that gluten-free crust or pizzas would be going away.

In fact, over the past several years, Papa John’s has been expanding their gluten-free offerings. In 2020, Papa John’s introduced a new thinner gluten-free crust option in addition to their original recipe crust. They’ve also added more pre-configured gluten-free pizzas to make ordering simpler.

The company seems committed to serving the gluten-free community based on these recent investments in additional menu options. Until Papa John’s makes a formal announcement on their website or to the press, it appears they will continue to sell gluten-free pizzas and offer gluten-free as a crust choice.

What do customers say about gluten-free at Papa John’s?

Here are some reports on the availability and quality of gluten-free pizza at Papa John’s locations across the U.S.:

Positive Experiences

  • Many customers report that their local Papa John’s has gluten-free crusts and pizzas in stock consistently. They have no issues ordering gluten-free when getting Papa John’s.
  • Most say that Papa John’s does a good job avoiding cross-contamination and they have not gotten “glutened” from eating their gluten-free pizzas.
  • Those who have tried both the original and thin gluten-free crusts say both taste pretty good and are a nice option for gluten-free.
  • Some locations will take extra care for gluten-free orders by changing gloves, using new utensils, and cutting pizzas on separate surfaces.

Negative Experiences

  • Some customers say their local Papa John’s is frequently out of stock of gluten-free crusts, making it impossible for them to order.
  • A few report getting sick from cross-contamination after eating Papa John’s gluten-free pizza.
  • Others say the gluten-free crust falls apart easily and has poor texture andflavor.
  • There are challenges finding definitive ingredient lists to check for hidden gluten.
  • A minority of customers don’t trust that workers take enough precautions for gluten-free orders.

So while many have success ordering gluten-free from Papa John’s, experiences can vary widely by location and how trained staff is on gluten-free procedures. Calling ahead to check availability and policies may be wise for celiac and gluten intolerant customers.

What precautions does Papa John’s take for gluten-free orders?

Papa John’s has implemented procedures across locations meant to avoid gluten cross-contamination for gluten-free orders. However, the extent to which these are practiced likely depends on the training and diligence of the local restaurant staff.

Here are some of the steps that Papa John’s corporate outlines for gluten-free orders:

  • Use a separate set of tools and prep area to make gluten-free pizzas
  • Use new gloves when preparing gluten-free pizzas
  • Use separate oven trays and cutters that have been thoroughly cleaned
  • Seal all gluten-free items in closed bags and boxes
  • Ensure all workers wash hands and change gloves between orders

Employees are also supposed to be trained on how to properly take and prepare gluten-free orders. Many locations have designated gluten-free preparation areas. All ingredients used are supposed to be verified gluten-free.

However, since practices vary by franchise location, those with celiac should still use caution and verify how seriously their local restaurant follows precautions. Cross-contamination is still a risk at some locations.

Does Papa John’s have gluten-free desserts and sides?

In terms of other gluten-free menu items beyond pizza, Papa John’s options are more limited.

They don’t offer any gluten-free desserts like cookies. The only gluten-free side dish is their cheesesticks appetizer made with gluten-free dough.

All of Papa John’s classic desserts like cinnamon pull aparts, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies contain gluten sources like wheat flour, barley malt, and rye.

Their salad dressings and dipping sauces may contain gluten or shared prep areas with wheat-based foods may lead to cross-contact.

So for now, pizza remains the only good gluten-free choice at Papa John’s, not their side dishes or desserts. Those with celiac or gluten sensitivity will want to avoid these menu items due to gluten risk.

Is the gluten-free crust actually healthy?

While Papa John’s gluten-free crust allows those sensitive to follow a gluten-free diet, it may not be an especially healthy product on its own. Here is a quick look at the nutrition specs:

Nutrition Facts for Papa John’s Gluten-Free Crust

Calories Fat Carbs Protein
260 3.5g 50g 6g

As you can see, the gluten-free crust is quite high in carbohydrates and low in protein compared to some other gluten-free crust options. It’s essentially made of simple ingredients like rice flour, potato starch, and water.

So while Papa John’s gluten-free crust fills the need for pizza that contains no gluten, it ranks lower in terms of nutrition profile. Those monitoring carbs or wanting nutrient-dense meals may want to minimize overconsumption.

Is Papa John’s pizza gluten-free friendly?

When it comes to accommodating gluten-free diets, Papa John’s gets mixed reviews. Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons:

Gluten-Free Friendly Aspects

  • Offers multiple gluten-free pizzas as menu options
  • Allows customizing most pizzas with a gluten-free crust
  • Has procedures in place for avoiding cross-contamination
  • Trains staff on gluten-free preparation processes
  • Clearly lists gluten-free items online and has allergen filters

Not as Gluten-Free Friendly Aspects

  • Availability of gluten-free crusts varies by location
  • Only the pizza itself is gluten-free, not sides or desserts
  • No guarantees against cross-contamination from flawed practices
  • Nutritionally, the crust is not the healthiest gluten-free option

So Papa John’s gets some things right by offering gluten-free pizzas and training staff on processes. But inconsistent availability, risk of exposure, and lack of healthier options keep it from being perfect for gluten-free needs. Calling ahead and verifying procedures at local stores is recommended.

The bottom line: Does Papa John’s still offer gluten-free pizza?

The bottom line is that as of today, Papa John’s has not discontinued or removed gluten-free pizza from menus nationwide. Gluten-free crust and several pre-configured gluten-free pizzas remain available options for customers at most locations.

However, supply issues can occasionally impact availability of gluten-free crusts at some franchises. And adherence to strict gluten-free preparation procedures varies from store to store based on employee training.

Papa John’s corporate website does not provide any messaging about gluten-free crust or pizzas no longer being offered. And the company has given no indication in announcements that they plan to cut this menu option.

So most signs point to Papa John’s remaining committed to serving their gluten-free customers. But some inconsistencies in inventory and prep practices means ordering experiences may not be 100% reliable for every customer with celiac disease or on a strict gluten-free diet.

Calling ahead to verify your local store has gluten-free crusts in stock and confirming they follow corporate procedures is advised to get the best gluten-free experience from Papa John’s. But as of today, gluten-free pizza remains on their menus.

The takeaway for customers seeking gluten-free pizza

For those with celiac disease or avoiding gluten, here are some tips on navigating gluten-free ordering at Papa John’s:

  • Check availability – call ahead to see if they have gluten-free crusts in stock before going to the store.
  • Stick to gluten-free crust with basic toppings – avoid sides and desserts with greater cross-contamination risks.
  • Request they change gloves and avoid cross-contact – ask if they follow gluten-free protocols.
  • Inspect pizza when served – look for any signs of regular crust or flour touching it.
  • Consider backup plans – have another pizza place in mind in case they are out of gluten-free.

Being an educated and vigilant customer is key to finding good gluten-free pizza options at national chains like Papa John’s. While they offer gluten-free items, inconsistencies mean you need to verify they follow proper protocols at your local store. With planning and precautions, you can safely enjoy Papa John’s gluten-free pizza as part of your diet.

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