New site helps diners with food allergies find the perfect restaurant
Peanut allergy? Gluten free? Lactose intolerant? Let Vieweat guide you to a safe, hassle-free dining experience.
When you or someone in your family has a food allergy or restriction, eating out can be difficult, if not downright impossible. That quandary was the inspiration behind Vieweat, a new website that culls information from thousands of restaurants to help potential diners decide what to eat and where, based on personalized criteria like gluten intolerance, diabetes, peanut allergies, lactose intolerance or other dietary restrictions.
The site, which co-founder and CEO Omer Sela and three other colleagues created in Israel in 2012, recently released an Android app. More developments, including an app for Apple users and more robust restaurant and menu data, are sure to follow.
And like many successful businesses, this one grew out of personal experience. "As a father of a young boy who has food allergies, and as a food-sensitive person myself, I am committed to seeking and promoting solutions that would let millions of potential customers, who have so far refrained from dining out, have better information," Sela told From The Grapevine.
To use Vieweat, simply plug in a location, check off one or more dietary issues and choose from a list of restaurants that fit the criteria. You can also see which menu items from a particular restaurant fit that criteria. At a Jason's Deli in New York City, for example, diners can enjoy a Nutty Mixed-Up Salad that's free of gluten, fish, eggs and preservatives. And before they even step foot into the restaurant, they can see the nutrition information of almost everything on their menu.
Along with the handy search engine, Vieweat has also compiled tips for diners on eating out in certain metropolitan areas. If you're on a low-carb diet, for instance, you can see Vieweat's suggestions of fast-food restaurants and their most diet-friendly foods. Betcha didn't know there are only 8 grams of carbs in a KFC Original Recipe chicken thigh!
Vacationing in London? Vieweat also offers a list of restaurants around the city that serve gluten-free food, as well as exactly how many gluten-free dishes each restaurant serves. So no, you won't be stuck with a sad-looking cookie when everyone else in your party eats like kings.
A sign on a display at Starbucks reads “No artificial trans fats.” Starbucks lists nutrition information on almost all of its menu items on Vieweat. (Photo: David Goehring/Flickr)
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