Food Allergy Advocate, Disney World Pioneer Endorses AllergyEats


Respected Food Allergy Educator, Chef & Author Praises AllergyEats, the Most Comprehensive Source for Finding Allergy-Friendly Restaurants


BOSTON, MA (February 14, 2012) – Food allergy advocate Joel Schaefer, CCC, CHT, an author,
chef and educator with Allergy Chefs, Inc. has endorsed AllergyEats (, the most
comprehensive source for finding food allergy-friendly restaurants. Schaefer knows first-hand how
important it is for restaurants to become more allergy-friendly. As the former Culinary Development
and Special Dietary Needs Manager at Walt Disney World, he spearheaded Disney World’s
groundbreaking food allergy initiatives, ensuring that all of their restaurants could better
accommodate food-allergic guests.

Schaefer specializes in culinary education and product development for food allergies and special
diets. Throughout his career, from Disney to his current position at Allergy Chefs
(, Schaefer has made it his mission to educate the food service industry about
food allergies. AllergyEats is similarly focused on promoting food allergy education, training and food
handling protocols among restaurants, as well as helping food-allergic diners find the most
accommodating establishments.

“The great thing about AllergyEats is that it’s building more awareness about dining out with food
allergies on such a large scale. The site is a wonderful way for consumers to find accommodating
restaurants and share information, tips and ideas about food allergies and sensitivities. I highly
recommend AllergyEats to both consumers and colleagues in the restaurant business,” said

“As someone who advocates for increased allergy training and education myself, I’m pleased to
receive an endorsement from Chef Schaefer, who shares a similar mission and vision,” said Paul
Antico, Founder of AllergyEats, food allergy advocate and father of three food-allergic children.
“Together, we’re striving to make it safer for food-allergic people to eat out – one meal at a time.”

Schaefer compiled his extensive experience and knowledge to write a book, Serving People with
Food Allergies: Kitchen Management & Menu Creation. The book explains the basics of food
allergies and special diets and also covers training and recipe development.

Schaefer, whose motto is “keep the food simple to keep the guests safe,” is pleased to see the
restaurant industry making huge strides in accommodating guests with food allergies. He’s also
grateful for a growing national resource like AllergyEats, which helps the food-allergy community
make more informed decisions about where to eat out and provides a helpful forum for tips, advice
and information sharing.

“There’s been a big push in the food service industry recently, as more restaurants are implementing
gluten free menus, providing allergen information and becoming more knowledgeable about food
allergies and special diets,” Schaefer explained.

Even with the progress made in the past few years, he acknowledges that it can still be hit-or-miss to
find restaurants that are accommodating and trained around food allergies. Therefore, he strongly
believes that AllergyEats is a valuable resource for the food allergy community – as well as the
restaurant community.

“AllergyEats shows restaurants the value of becoming more allergy friendly – that it’s a revenue
driver,” Schaefer added. “It’s not just the food-allergic guest dining out. It’s the food-allergic guest
and three or four of their friends or family members going out for a meal, and they’re going to visit the
restaurant that can accommodate the food-allergic member of their party.”

Schaefer, who got his start as a chef at Disney World, always had a special interest in food allergies
due to his own dairy sensitivity. As Walt Disney World’s Culinary Development and Special Dietary
Needs Manager, Chef Joel streamlined the organization’s food allergy protocols. When he took on
this role in 2003, Disney was already accommodating food allergies and special diets, but each
restaurant handled the issue differently. Schaefer created a more consistent system, ensuring that
every Disney restaurant could successfully serve food-allergic guests according to a specific
company protocol. Now, Schaefer is excited about the new AllergyEats Disney World microsite
(, which he thinks is extremely helpful for food-allergic families isiting
the area.

AllergyEats provides valuable, peer-based ratings and feedback about how well (or poorly)
restaurants accommodate food-allergic customers, so the food allergy community can make more
informed decisions about where to dine (and which establishments to avoid.) AllergyEats features
more than 600,000 restaurants nationwide that users can rate, as well as restaurants’ menus
(including gluten-free menus), allergen lists, nutrition information, certifications, web links, directions
and more.

Most restaurant review sites include information about establishments’ food, ambiance or service, but
AllergyEats is singularly focused on food allergies, with peer reviews spotlighting where people with
food allergies or intolerances have more comfortably eaten and where they’ve encountered

AllergyEats features a new, free AllergyEats app (available at iTunes and the Android store),
providing access to important information about restaurants’ peer ratings, feedback, menus and other
information while on-the-go. And the new AllergyEats Disney World microsite
( focuses on the allergy-friendliness of the restaurants in and around he
popular theme parks and greater Orlando area.

AllergyEats has been endorsed by highly-respected food, health and allergy organizations and
individuals, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Gluten Intolerance Group,
Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Chef Ming Tsai and more. For more information, please go


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