AllergyEats is Live! (soft launch)
New Website Takes the Guesswork Out of Restaurant Dining for People with Food Allergies and Intolerances
BOSTON (January 31, 2010) – If you or a loved one is prone to food allergies, you know the challenges of finding a restaurant where everyone will feel comfortable.
That search has just gotten easier.
A new website, www.allergyeats.com, combines the best of Internet technology with peer-to-peer information to help people know in advance how well (or poorly) a restaurant responds to people with food allergies and other food intolerances, such as Celiac Disease.
The website lists over 600,000 restaurants in the United States and is searchable by geographic location, provides maps and driving directions, lists phone numbers and includes menus, industry certifications and other information of interest to food allergy sufferers when available.
Users are encouraged to help the rest of the food allergy community by answering three simple questions (takes less than a minute) about their dining experience. The answers are compiled into an objective “allergy-friendliness rating” that gives users instantaneous at-a-glance information about the “allergy friendliness” of specific restaurants.
There is also a place on the site for written comments, which will be monitored to ensure they contain only food-allergy related opinions.
“This site is an outgrowth of the difficulty I have in finding a place where my two food-allergic children can eat,” said Paul Antico, who spent 18 months researching and designing the site.
“The food allergy community is very tight-knit. The comprehensiveness of AllergyEats gives them a place online where they can share their experiences and help each other,” Antico said.
There are about 12 million people with food allergies in the United States. Over 2 million people have Celiac Disease as well.
The advocacy group Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA) is enthusiastic about AllergyEats. “The developers have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the site. The comprehensiveness of the listings combined with the ratings and comments section makes the site unique,” said Mike Tringale, director of external affairs.
The AAFA New England Chapter offered guidance and suggestions during the site’s development. “We are really excited about this new tool for people with food allergies,” said Elaine Rosenburg, executive director of the chapter. “It will really open up another door for people with food allergies to participate in an activity that most of us enjoy, which is dining out.”
Healthy Villi, a Celiac Disease advocacy group, views AllergyEats as an important source of information. “Allergy Eats is a useful tool for those with allergy and gluten concerns, and our members should find this site a helpful addition to their support network. It should additionally serve as a reminder to restaurants of the importance of being gluten-friendly,” said Lee Graham, chairman and president.
“In addition to helping people with food allergies, AllergyEats is a good tool for the restaurant industry,” Antico said. “Restaurateurs can see how their individual locations are faring, and can learn from comments about other restaurants what works and doesn’t work for people with food allergies.”
While there are other online sites for people with food allergies, none combines the comprehensiveness of the AllergyEats listings with the objective ratings and comments area.
“AllergyEats is really a living, breathing organism that will grow and become increasingly useful as people share more information on the site. I am happy to offer this to the food allergy community, and I can’t wait to see how it develops over time,” Antico said.