Jersey Mike’s to roll out gluten-free bread after partnering with Udi’s

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jersey Mike's will roll out gluten-free buns next month. Pic: Jersey Mike's
Jersey Mike's will roll out gluten-free buns next month. Pic: Jersey Mike's
US sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s will introduce Udi'sgluten-free sub rolls at its 1,320 locations across the country next month.

The decision was made after collaborating with Udi’s, a gluten-free sub rolls producer based in Denver, Colorado. Jersey Mike’s COO Michael Manzo said Udi’s is the number one brand in the US gluten-free bread category.

“[For folks] with celiac disease or who are gluten-intolerant, we now have a serving for them,”​ he said.

Michael J. Manzo
Michael Manzo

“[For folks] with celiac disease or who are gluten-intolerant, we now have a serving for them."

Prior to the partnership with Udi’s, Jersey Mike’s had received partnership offers from other gluten-free companies, according to Manzo.

“We had a good number of requests [from other gluten-free producers], but they were not enough for us to pull something off,” ​he said.

Manzo said Jersey Mike’s did not have problems working with a gluten-free brand in regards to cross-contamination, but the types of batter it is now using are more sensitive to time and temperature than its regular buns.

Training for handling gluten-free buns

The company recently ran a test run of Udi’s gluten-free buns in 200 stores in seven states, which proved "successful,”​ said Manzo.

However, before the national launch, the company has to spend time training team members on how to handle the products properly.

“Udi’s gluten-free sub rolls arrive at a restaurant individually wrapped and fully baked. The packaging is not opened until the sub is ordered and, as a result, there is little risk of cross contamination with other subs,”​ said Manzo.

“Our team members wear new gloves when handling the rolls, and use knives and other utensils that haven’t touched other bread products when slicing the gluten-free rolls,”​ he added. “They also prepare each sub on parchment paper to avoid contact with gluten.”

Manzo said Jersey Mike’s does not set the pricing with its franchisees, but recommends charging $1.50 for a regular gluten-free sub and $3 for a giant sub.

The company is also about to launch a gluten-free cookie.

“We’re coming out with 1,300 units for testing. It will be a national brand,”​ said Manzo.

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