I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, which means that I'm not able to eat wheat or gluten. This is a pretty huge change from how I'd always eaten. It's a bit of a pain, since wheat and gluten are in *everything* (did you know that there's gluten in McDonald's fries? I didn't!). Now when I go to restaurants, I try to research their menus/ingredient lists beforehand online at their website. It's really frustrating when they don't have any ingredient info at all! Wendy's has a clearcut list on their site with menu items that are wheat and gluten free. McDonald's and Taco Bell have ingredient lists that clearly spell out potential allergens in their menu items. Olive Garden, on the other hand, just says to call or email them, or ask your server for which items are safe for celiacs. Red Robin has absolutely NO info on their website for ingredient lists or items with possible allergens, at all. Very frustrating!
Also, it's annoying when they don't have that information in the restaurant. I asked at McDonald's right after I was diagnosed, and while the manager was extremely nice and sympathetic, the brochure she gave me just referred me to their website. Thanks, Ronald, that really helps when I'm standing in the restaurant right now.
Finally, celiac disease isn't contagious and asking about what's in your food doesn't make me a freak. Honestly, Panera cashier, I don't have an alien baby parasite in my guts (even though it feels that way sometimes) that's going to pop out and eat your face. I just want to know if there's any wheat or gluten in the french onion soup, sans croutons (there is. sigh.).