Monday Mashup 4: Shorter Newsletter, EOHO, Pret, Allergy Treatment, Community Opinion

Monday Mashup 4: Shorter Newsletter, EOHO, Pret, Allergy Treatment, Community Opinion

A bite sized update from the world of allergies & food.

Happy Monday!

And welcome to issue #4 of this bi-monthly newsletter. It’s a bit of a shorter and later one this week (may even have spilt into Tuesday AM!!) as I go away on Wednesday for a friend’s wedding so have been busy getting things ready to step away for a week.

I want to also give a warm welcome to our new subscribers! To give you an idea of what to expect in this short(er) 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 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 the things we’ve been working on this week…

A new homepage:
It’s still in the works and has a few bugs but it’s coming together quite nicely.

More reviews:
Lots of new reviews. Finding people who have eaten out in Liverpool has been a challenge but it’s something we’re determined to keep working at. Getting this part right is so important. Just like in our community group, other allergy sufferers will be making dining decisions based on these reviews.

The next 2 weeks – what we’re going to be working on: 

  • There’ll be less development this coming fortnight as I’m away for a week. What we’ll be focussing on is finding more people who have eaten out with allergies in Liverpool to write a review on their experiences. It’s fundamental to what we’re trying to build. Having trusted reviews from people who understand allergies is so important because the criteria of identifying a great restaurant is so different for allergy sufferers. No one else can offer that level of understanding or empathy when looking for new places to eat out, especially in new cities. It’s the core of what our Facebook community is about and will be the core of the allergy restaurant guide.

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

🤑 It’s been two weeks since the EOHO scheme came to an end and it’s interesting to look back on the impact it had across the industry. Did it set out what it was put in place to do? We saw last week that for some restaurants, it caused unwelcomed issues. It looks on the face of it, the scheme was a success (only time will tell) but not only for the restaurants. The government benefited as well – to the tune of £250m! The largest sum was a £150m saving on the formerly furloughed people not needing to be paid by the government. The rest is mainly made up from VAT on sales – especially the alcohol that I’m sure accompanied plenty of the meals that were redeemed!

What are allergies worth?

📰 (This link is behind a sign up wall so I’ve done my best to summarise) Pret A Manger’s accounts are quite revealing. It looks like they set aside almost £10m to cover legal costs with the majority for ‘operational incidents’. I’d assume what they actually mean are ‘allergy incidents’ as there were a number of them that led to huge scrutiny in the press and across the industry through 2018. They’ve since invested £20m improving their processes and launched the Allergy Plan last year. As an anecdote, we played a small part in that conversation with our allergen software, Menu Guru. It was interesting to get a look behind the scenes to see what was going on and we’ll be looking to play a bigger part in the future.

🥜 And speaking of large investments, Nestle have bought a US based company that’s working on the cutting edge of food allergy prevention for over £2bn! Aimmune has created a range of products that reduce reactions to food allergies. One product has already been approved by the FDA for peanut allergy sufferers called Palforzia. The treatment, called oral immunotherapy, involves exposing peanut allergy sufferers to small but increasing amounts of peanuts over time. The first is done within a clinic setting and then a daily DIY home-kit so there are clearly some risks involved! The other products that they are currently working on are for egg and tree nut allergies. It’s exciting to see this kind of progress being made and hopefully the treatment makes its way to the UK soon. It gives a lot of promise to the future of food allergies, especially now they have the backing of one of the biggest food manufacturers in the world.

In The Community

🥘 I asked a question in our Facebook community last week to see what people thought restaurants could do to make them want to eat there more often. I mentioned it didn’t have to be allergy related but it definitely seems like it’s the most pressing issue for our community! 

The answers were really revealing and shows that restaurants still don’t get this right. We even had an answer from a US member and it seems to be a huge issue there too.

Jump into the group and have your say – we’re building a platform now and restaurants are starting to take notice. It’s a great chance to get a powerful message across that although good, they need to do better.

A question for the community.

End Note

It was a shorter newsletter this week – I have lots of other things I want to share so I’ll make sure to include them in the next issue!

And 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!

As always, should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through.

Speak soon,


P.S. To follow our journey and get these updates, sign up to our newsletter here.

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