You Asked. We Listened. Re-introducing AllergyEats!
For almost six years, AllergyEats has been a labor of love for me. Borne of my own personal frustration trying to find food allergy-friendly restaurants for my family of seven (three with food allergies), I knew there had to be others struggling with the same dilemma. But how could we connect and learn from each other? We needed a restaurant guide specifically focused on “food allergy-friendliness.” We would need reviews of real-world dining experiences from food-allergic individuals all around the country willing to help each other for the common good and their own future benefit. And thus, on February 24, 2011, AllergyEats came into existence. From the beginning right up until today, AllergyEats has clearly struck a positive note amongst the food allergy community, as evident by the tremendous number of dining experiences that have been shared on AllergyEats so far.
Despite this success and the many awards AllergyEats has won over the years, we knew that both the app and website were overdue for a facelift and a tune-up. In preparation, roughly six months ago, we ran an extensive survey to find out what you wanted. We listened and we heard you loud and clear!
Thus, on behalf of my amazing team, I am excited to introduce you to the “new AllergyEats” – now live at allergyeats.com and in the Google Play and iTunes App Store. You will find that we have dramatically improved the functionality, features, and customization on both the app and site, all while maintaining our trademark simple, user-friendly design and ratings process. And of course, AllergyEats remains free for users!
Some of the new and improved features you will find on AllergyEats include:
Better customization of search results: We have improved our search results algorithm to better reflect a user’s indicated allergies as well as other factors. Further, while a user can still choose from 10 of the most common allergies/intolerances when running a restaurant search, we have made it easier to include over 250 allergens in a user’s profile. By doing so, we will be populating the database with robust information for everyone’s future benefit, while – in the meantime – ALL of a rater’s allergens will be indicated next to their username where their restaurant reviews are displayed.
Faster search results: We know that our users have busy lives, so we made AllergyEats faster, more powerful, able to leap tall buildings in a single… well, we made it faster, so you can get restaurant results on-the-spot when you need them. In addition, your search criteria will now be saved as you use the app and site, eliminating the need to enter this information multiple times.
Enhanced user comments: Overwhelmingly, you told us that user comments were important to you and that you wanted even more information. In response, we have “opened up” the comment section to encourage longer user reviews. We are also now offering Recognition Points to those who leave comments with their ratings and for those who have their comments marked Helpful by others. Lastly, if users find a particular rater whose comments they like, who have similar allergens, or who share a common location of interest, etc., they can “save” that rater on their Profile page for future reference of that individual’s existing and subsequent ratings.
Ability to save and share restaurants: Since many AllergyEats users travel to certain destinations on a regular basis or want to plan restaurant meals well in advance of a trip, we added a feature that allows users to save restaurants for future reference on their Profile page. We’ve also made it easier to give a public shout-out to those restaurants that went above and beyond for you or others by adding a Share feature for social media, email, and more. (Of course, this could also be used to share not-so-positive experiences or to solicit feedback from others before going to a recommended restaurant.)
Easier login: In addition to saving your search information during the time you use AllergyEats, we have also responded to your requests to remain logged into AllergyEats for an extended period, removing the time and guesswork necessary to remember a forgotten username or lost password.
Menus, directions, click-to-call, reservations, and more: You asked for menus – we got you menus. Over 425,000 of them! We’ve also made it easier to get directions to a restaurant, call them with one touch on the app, make a reservation at over 20,000 OpenTable-affiliated restaurants and more.
So much more to come! Use the app, use the site, and click Contact Us to tell us what you think – the good, the bad, and… well, let’s just stick with good and bad. ALL feedback is welcome to help us continuously improve YOUR AllergyEats. (And don’t be shy about being critical – that’s what helps us improve AllergyEats the most!)
The AllergyEats database maintains over 800,000 restaurants around the U.S. waiting for your ratings! So find, rate, and share a restaurant today – your voice matters to all of us. We are all in this together!
As an incentive to try the “new AllergyEats,” we will be conducting a drawing on December 11 to win restaurant gift cards and AllergyEats gear (coolers, T-shirts, and more). To enter, all you need to do is share your favorite new feature in the comments section of this blog or in the comments section of the associated Facebook post. Winners will be notified by email.