Food-intolerant and food-allergic diners have a problem when they want to eat out as finding a restaurant that will accommodate their dietary needs well is always hectic.
About 15 million Americans have various food intolerances and allergies, and most of them virtually have to dine out. AllergyEats was founded by Paul Antico to help such persons to find dining options easily and quickly.
He founded this great and helpful guide after seeing first-hand how difficult it was to find a restaurant that would comfortably accommodate the individual dietary needs of his seven-member family whereby 3 of his children were food-allergic. He would spend about an hour or more to seek the best dining options for them whenever they travelled either in big cities or small towns.
At times, even after finding restaurants that were welcoming to his family, Paul still noted that they were making some hit-or-miss and relatively uninformed restaurant choices. He wanted to look for a better way.
What Is AllergyEats?
AllergyEats refers to a dominant and leading guide that helps with finding restaurants that serve allergy-friendly as well as not-so-friendly food across the United States. Users are able to find and also rate restaurants found in any city based on their ability to accommodate food-allergic diners using their phones, computers or tablets.
This useful guide is available for free in the website and also an app. This guide covers people suffering from all types of food allergies like peanut, dairy, fish, tree nut, egg, wheat, sesame, seafood, soy and those with gluten sensitivity, Celiac Disease and many other dietary conditions.
The AllergyEats app and website allows users to save their favorite restaurants, follow other diners suffering from similar dietary conditions, share search reviews or results, make reservations in restaurants, view the available menus and much more.
Apart from being able to find and rate the accommodating restaurants from Seattle to Miami, Boston to San Diego and all the other areas in between including even Alaska and Hawaii, the guide has a popular page for people vacationing in Disney World.
AllergyEats Disney World enables users to find and also rate restaurants found in the hotels, parks and the surrounding Orlando area on the level of “allergy-friendliness” in these facilities.
The app which has been re-designed can now help users to find the best restaurants, get directions, share results, see menus and make reservations plus more on the go. Users can also use the website, app and blog to plan their trips and various stops along their way.
What Makes AllergyEats Different?
AllergyEats is special and different from other peer-reviewed directories of restaurants as it derives its value from the user. Users usually use its website or app to rate restaurants in order to benefit others. The ratings process of these restaurants is done in a quick and simple way and only focuses on the allergy-friendliness of a restaurant and not its price, ambiance, and cuisine like the other websites or apps that do that.
This app or website allows users to rate different restaurants and to see the restaurants that other people have loved or not. This simple functionality and user-friendly design of the site has made it popular, trusted and loved by the community living with food allergies ever since it was launched in 2010.
Although it has managed to scoop up a number of awards, it received a tune-up and a facelift. The website/app owners listened to what users wanted and they put all of these views into consideration in making a newer and more advanced version. The website/app has over 850,000 restaurants in its database that are ready for users to rate.
It also contains restaurant listings, menus, sharing capability, website links, one-touch phone numbers, restaurant allergen commitment statements, directions, maps etc. The website thrives on the feedback it receives from its users in order to make it more valuable to its community.
How AllergyEats Works
Users using the AllergyEats app and website to look for restaurants and rate them do it free of charge. When a user only needs to search the database restaurant, they do not have to sign up on the website or app.
However, users need to sign up when they need to rate a restaurant, save their favorite restaurants or a number of other functions for their future visits and following other registered users whose ratings appeal to them. When a user signs up, they stand to get recognition points and get periodic emails concerning the newly added blog entries etc (if they agree to receive them).
It is not a must for users to enter their specific allergies when searching for restaurants, but the more information they input, the more detailed and customized the search results will be at the end.
Users are encouraged to enter their allergies, especially when rating a restaurant as it will benefit other users, who could be suffering from similar allergic reactions, more in the future. If a user finds out that their allergy is not listed on the website, they should list them under the “Add Other Allergies” option. This website and app is not only useful to people living with food allergic reactions and intolerances but also those without the already listed ones.
Whenever a visitor becomes a registered user on AllergyEats, they check off all the types of allergens they are looking to avoid. The website and app does not distinguish between food intolerances, allergies, sensitivities and it does not inquire whether the various dietary restrictions a member lives with are either lifestyle-based or connected to other different conditions.
The community is made up of people living with life-threatening allergic reactions or celiac disease. All the registered users are committed to finding restaurants that are accommodating to both themselves and the other members of the community. Users can use the comments section of every review to learn more concerning the whole experience of a specific diner having a similar profile or whose ratings are useful.
Registered members are able to favorite members who have similar profiles or those whose ratings they find useful in order to keep track of them easily from their profile pages.
Benefits of AllergyEats
AllergyEats was established with the main aim of reducing the anxiety that grips people living with various food intolerances and allergies when they have to eat out or travel. Although this guide does not cover all the cities, it makes it easier for the community members to find allergy-friendly restaurants in most major cities. These are just a few of the benefits that this website and app offers to its members.
There are several other benefits that members get to enjoy from this useful guide. To start off, the website and app comes with a simple and user-friendly design that enables members to use it easily despite the knowledge level they have in using technology.
The guide presents the users with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from as they head out as it contains well over 850,000 allergy-friendly restaurants. It is also possible for users who have not registered or do not wish to login into the app or website to quickly find friendly restaurants nearby. It is possible for users to base their search by the geographic location of the restaurants.
Another great benefit of using this website or app is the ability of users to customize their searches by filtering the major food allergens (eight in number) as well as gluten and sesame. Users also enjoy the benefit of being able to create a reservation in over 20,000 restaurants using a single click using OpenTable. Users are also able to place a call to a restaurant they choose with only one click from the app.
Members are also able to link easily to the restaurants’ standard as well as kid’s menus from the app when they are available. The star ratings and comments are helpful to the active community as they offer a real life experience on the ability of restaurants to accommodate guests living with one or more food allergies. Using the app, users are able to share the restaurants they find easily via email or social media platforms.
The app also allows users to log in using their Facebook or Twitter login details which avoids the creation of a new profile altogether. The content on the app is also available in the AllergyEats website.
As much as this website and app have so many benefits, there are also some downsides to it. The downsides of this app are the requirements to either register or login using a social media account in order to save favorites and rate restaurants. There are also advertisements on every page.
There is the issue of not accessing the menus from all restaurants as not all of them issue them. There is the challenge of search results being vague as the app does not list the allergen-free menu items and a user has to do some extra research to find them. There is also the chance of having smaller towns and cities either unavailable or under-represented.
Whether a person living with food allergies or intolerances is traveling around the United States, going out on a date or heading out for a family dinner, AllergyEats will always make finding allergy-friendly restaurants easier.