We are a nation of foodies! The UK spends over £24bn a year eating out.
However, for the people that have a dietary requirement, discovering exactly what you can eat can be an absolute nightmare. Over 49% of the households in the UK have a restricted diet, and the latest FSA research still shows that 65% don’t think there has been any improvement in allergen information on menus. As a result we found people feel socially isolated, unable to attend birthday meals or grab a bite to eat after work because they didn’t want to make things difficult for others.
When one of our foodie founders, Alex, was diagnosed with a soya intolerance after a stomach bug in 2014, she found that although restaurants legally have to store allergen information on site, there was no easy way to access that information as a diner. Going out for a meal became a huge chore, involving multiple phone calls and then triple checking through binders of spreadsheets in the restaurants themselves…often just to find out there was hardly anything available. Matt was working with Alex at the time, and he had seen the issue through his sisters, both of whom are vegetarian with wheat allergies. They looked everywhere for a solution but came up empty handed.
Talking to restaurants the issue became clear; the industry is slow to change and they were only just realising the extent of the market yet. This seemed a perfect opportunity to use technology to make life easier for millions of people across the UK and bring in more customers to the great restaurants who took allergen legislation seriously. Claudia, a vegan software developer, joined the team in 2017 after experiencing the very same problem from a vegan perspective. She left her job as Head of Android Development at Gumtree to solve the problem for the ever growing vegan market.
So what exactly is Eat Safe?
Our easy-to-use consumer app filters menus at restaurants dependent on the user's dietary requirements, only showing you what you CAN eat, rather than making you wade through spreadsheets of what you can’t.
This information is obtained by providing simple allergen compliance software to restaurants, that they can use to meet their legal requirements. With simple keyword recognition & machine learning in place to identify mistakes, our system stops errors before they happen.
This eliminates the difficulty currently faced in discovering whether the individual can actually eat anything at the restaurant. Users can then choose restaurants based on the knowledge that they will a have choice when they arrive of dishes that are safe for them.
Where are we now?
We’ve expanded to listing over 1400 venues, and while we’re currently focused on London, with several large national brands as partners, we have a foothold in most large UK cities. Our partners include Pho, Burger & Lobster, Tortilla, Abokado, and many more great chains and independent restaurants.
We’ve also released our consumer app, and have a rapidly growing user base providing us with fantastic feedback on the direction to develop.
And we’ve done this all on less than £5k. Now that we’ve shown the demand, grown the user base and connected with the restaurants, we need your help to get to the next level!
Try the app out by searching for Eat Safe on the app stores, or get more information and contact our friendly team at www.eatsafeapp.co.uk. We're all ears!