Improving the Way Food Allergic & Gluten-Intolerant Diners Eat Out

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AllergyEats, the biggest and fastest growing source for finding allergy-friendly restaurants, is celebrating its first anniversary. Over the past year, this peer-based resource has significantly improved the way food allergic and gluten-intolerant diners eat out.

AllergyEats, a free website, lists well over 600,000 restaurants nationwide, which food allergic diners can rate. The site also offers information on restaurants’ menus (including gluten-free menus), allergen lists, nutrition information, certifications, web links, directions and more.

“Since its February 2010 launch, AllergyEats has ramped up to more than 10,000 users each month and continues to see significant growth as visitors from all 50 states rate the allergy-friendliness of their restaurant experiences,” said Paul Antico, founder of AllergyEats. “Our tremendous, ongoing growth demonstrates that the site is meeting a huge need within the food allergy community.”

“Additionally, we’ve experienced a tremendous surge of interest on our social media sites, with more than 8,000 Facebook views daily, and 3,000+ food-allergic fans regularly sharing ideas, recommendations and feedback on Facebook, Twitter and the AllergyEats Blog,” Antico continued.

As a successful mutual fund manager at Fidelity Investments, Antico was used to problem-solving during high pressure situations. But one night a few years ago, the father of five faced a different sort of challenge – driving around for more than two hours with his hungry, grumpy children in the backseat, searching for a restaurant that could accommodate their food allergies.

“I was frustrated with the inconsistencies in restaurants – some were willing to cook meals without dairy, nuts, eggs and my kids’ other ‘trigger foods,’ and some were not – and I wondered why there wasn’t a quick, easy online restaurant guide that indicated where food-allergic individuals could more comfortably eat. So I created one,” Antico explained.

This free, user-friendly website provides valuable peer-based feedback about how well (or poorly) restaurants accommodate the needs of food-allergic customers. The peer ratings and feedback allow food-allergic and gluten-intolerant diners to quickly and easily find restaurants that will cater to their special dietary requirements – and avoid those that won’t.

Most restaurant review sites include information about establishments’ food, ambiance or service, but AllergyEats is singularly focused on food allergies, with peer reviews spotlighting where people with food allergies or intolerances have more comfortably eaten.

More than 12 million Americans have food allergies, which is one in 25 people or 4% of the population. The numbers are higher for children under the age of 3, as a staggering 6% have been diagnosed with food allergies. An additional 3 million people have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.