A bite sized update from the world of allergies & food.
Happy bank holiday Monday!
And welcome to issue #3 of this bi-monthly newsletter.
In this short newsletter I’ll be keeping you updated on our journey to make eating out with allergies easy as well as other tasty chunks from the food and allergy world. I’ll also keep you informed on what our community is saying along with expert opinions from within the industry, recipes and much, much more!
This is a newsletter for you, made by you – our allergy community.
Onto the updates…
The World of Eating Out
As we work towards creating a place for you to find, rate and share allergy friendly restaurants, I want to keep you updated as we go. The feedback from you is so, so important and allows us to shape the website to work exactly the way you need it to so thank you. Our goal is to build the first Allergy Friendly Restaurant Guide in the UK!
Here are some of the things we’ve built this week…
Allergy specific review criteria:
You can now select your allergens to make your reviews allergen specific.
Choose specific allergens to base your review.
Allergy specific reviews:
Reviews now show the allergens your restaurant rating is based on. This will help you and others in the community when looking to find how a restaurant caters to specific allergens. It’s like having your own personal army of allergy advisors!
Reviews now show allergens.
The next 2 weeks – what we’re going to be working on:
- The allergen reviews took a lot of work, more than we expected! So this coming week we’ll be focussing on showing the live and most recent reviews on the homepage.
- Getting more restaurants onto the site so we can open it up to more regions! We’re Liverpool specific at the moment (thanks to those of you who have reached out to help! If anyone else would like to support with Liverpool, please see below 😁)
How you can help:
We need help populating restaurant reviews. We have Liverpool restaurants on the site at the moment so looking for people who have eaten out there before. Please reply to this email if you can help!
Food For Thought
🤖 Is this the future of service? A new restaurant called Robotazia has opened in Milton Keynes. And fitting to the name, they have a team of robo waiting staff which will take your orders. It’s not the first effort in the world (Japan trialled a humanoid named Pepper in 2016) but it is the first in the UK. I have mixed feelings about a robot taking my order. It would depend on the restaurant – for quick service or casual dining I would be more than happy to have my order taken by a robot. For fine dining, I’d want the personal touch which you wouldn’t get from a humanoid. But from an allergy perspective, this could be amazing. I’d feel much more confident if I could see my order in front of me being sent to the kitchen with my exact dietary requirements. I’d assume it would cut out a huge amount of errors and make eating out a lot easier and safer.
🍲 It looks like we’re a hungry nation – but only Monday to Wednesday! As of last week, 64 million meals worth £334m have been claimed on the Eat Out To Help Out scheme. That’s the equivalent of nearly 1 for each person in the country! Restaurant booking service OpenTable is showing the number of people eating out Monday to Wednesday this week compared to the same week last year is up by 61%! With the scheme set to end today, some restaurants have taken it upon themselves to extend it throughout September.
😲 But it’s not all positive. Over 1,000 restaurants pulled out mid-way through the scheme to protect their staff against angry and aggressive customers. Because they’re so overwhelmed with guests, restaurants are struggling to accommodate everyone. People are also ordering much larger meals to get the most out of the discount which is slowing down service. With safety their main priority, many restaurants took the decision to pull out of the scheme. Restaurants are also seeing that although they’re extremely busy Monday to Wednesday but very quiet Thursday to Sunday. I wonder what the impact will be over the next couple of weeks now the scheme is coming to an end.
Allergies On TV
📺 This is worth a watch. Supernanny, Jo Frost, speaks about her life threatening peanut allergy on an episode of Supernanny USA. The topic was raised as the parents she’s helping are struggling to deal with their childrens’ life threatening food allergies. It’s great to see someone with a platform speak about the challenges and spread awareness. You can watch the episode on catchup here at Channel 4’s online service, All 4.
As the newsletter grows, I expect the content to evolve as well . One thing I want to keep consistent throughout the journey though, is that it’s driven by you. If you have any feedback or want to share anything please get it touch. I read and reply to every email so make sure to reach out!
And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through.
P.S. To follow our journey and get these updates, sign up to our newsletter here.