The number of people with food allergies, intolerances, special eating habits and preferences is growing every year. Some have to keep to a special diet for medical reasons, other choose to do so by their own. This brings to a situation where the need for tailor-made menus and a more transparent information in the food sector grows every single day.
Those who for some reason cannot take a liberty to eat whatever they find in the restaurants and on the supermarkets’ shelves often face difficulties when having a dinner in a restaurant or a café: if a special diet or some food allergies deny oneself to eat this or that product, the person with special needs feels like on a minefield when choosing a dish from a restaurant menu. What people with food allergies need is to feel themselves safe and comfortable when eating out. A young Italian startup company seems to have found a solution to this problem.
CucinaMancina, the biggest Italian food community for people with food allergies and special eating habits has created the project My Open Menu which has been selected as one of the 100 best food startups in Europe by the EU startup accelerator Katana 2020. Now the goal for CucinaMancina is to become one of the top 10. To reach it the Italian startup has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Katana platform that will last until the 31th of December.
A mobile application for people with food allergies and special eating habits: how it works
The My Open Menu app helps people with special food preferences easily find recipes and restaurant dishes that fit their eating habits, their special diet or that is allowed despite their food allergies. The user can calmly browse the menus from home and pre-order special dishes in the restaurants in advance. The app also allows to filter the restaurant menu by a special criteria: food allergies, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-fat, low-sugar, rich of vitamin, protein or fibre. This function can also be used directly in the restaurant when making one’s choice.
The founders of My Open Menu call their project “a food loupe” which not only helps its users to get a complete transparent information about the food they eat but also allows to share the experience with the community after a dinner at a restaurant.
As a result both the users and the suppliers profit from the digital experience: the restaurant owners get a chance to make their menus more transparent and promote their businesses among people with food allergies and special eating preferences while the users can make their eating experience more comfortable and healthy finding the tailor-made recipes that fit their diets.