- Published on 14.12.2021
- By Elena
- 8336 comments
Safe Meal was born as a response to one of biggest frustrations and fears that a person with food allergies (or any other dietary restriction) can have: eating out. The idea to build an allergy review platform arose on a trip to Colombia in March 2020 (just before the first COVID-19 lockdown), trying to find a restaurant that would accommodate my allergies. For allergic people, there is always an extra effort made when trying to look for a place to dine out (and not everywhere is safe) so we decided to create a space where restaurants could be reviewed according to dietary restrictions.
It has been a long journey as we have only built the platform by ourselves (Thomas and Elena) and with the help of our designer friend (Emile). We hope you enjoy learning how the platform works - and we hope you make it your go-to tool when dining out!
What is Safe Meal
Safe Meal is a new independant website and webapp that will allow you to find & review restaurants suiting your allergies and other dietary restrictions in 32 countries.
The idea behind Safe Meal is to build a large community of people in different countries making each other safer. The reviews published by users for each restaurant are used and compiled to build an allergy identity safe card of the restaurant. By registering, you will be able to set your allergies and therefore be matched, for your search criteria, with restaurants that got enough positive reviews for your allergies. This is of course if enough reviews have been posted for the restaurants returned by your search. Example below:
Where can I review restaurants?
Our service is be available in the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- United States
Why review on Safe Meal?
By reviewing restaurants on Safe Meal, you will be helping the allergy community eat out safe. Dining out with food allergies is always a challenge. Food allergies affect approximately 2.5% of the world population and numbers are on the rise. With 2 million in the UK, 32 million in the US, 2 million in France, 2 million in Spain…
On top of this, 1% of individuals worldwide suffer from celiac disease and it is actually estimated that only 20-30% of the cases have been diagnosed.
Dietary restrictions are becoming the “new normal”, but not all restaurants or countries are yet ready to accommodate, and dining out with food allergies can be a stressful experience.
How to Search
In order to review a restaurant, you will need to sign up / log in to your account. Once that’s done, simply write down the name of the restaurant and the city on the search bar, and if the restaurant has already been reviewed in Yelp (most restaurants have), then you will be able to write a review taking into account specific allergens.
We have created filters to be able to look for reviews by allergen(s) (see below) - but these filters won’t be of use until we get allergy reviews :) In the meantime, search results will show all already existing ratings.
What happens if I cannot find a restaurant?
While many restaurants, especially in big cities, will have already been reviewed in the Yelp database, there will still be instances when the restaurant will just not be present in the database.
If you are unable to find a restaurant, please send an email to email@example.com and we will add the restaurant for you. We will also get in touch as soon as it is added so you can start reviewing :)
Number of allergens you can review restaurants for
Currently, you can only review restaurants for 14 allergens: Peanut, Tree Nuts, Dairy, Egg, Fish, Crustacean, Molluscs, Soy, Sesame, Sulphites, Celery, Lupin, Mustard.
We are working to be able to review restaurants for more than the 14 top allergens.
How to view existing reviews in my area or any other town
If you want to look for reviews in your area, the only thing that needs to be done is to go www.safemealguide.com and the website itself will show you already existing reviews near you. Example below, with two restaurants, on the left, reviewed near me.
If you are just browsing and want to see what has been reviewed in other cities, simply write the name of your town in the search bar, leave the Restaurant name field blank, and click search. Example below:
As you will have noticed, for now, you will only be able to see the reviews that have been posted on Yelp. As soon as we start getting more allergy focused reviews, you will be able to see these first.
If you have any doubts / questions around Safe Meal, just get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org :)