If you've ever tried dining out with food allergies - or even sensitivities - then you know it can be quite the obstacle course to navigate. Check out the DineSafe app which helps you locate restaurants in your area that offer items that meet your specific needs!

Eating Out with Food Sensitivities: How the DineSafe App Can Help

This post is sponsored by DineSafe, but the opinions shared here are entirely my own. I only share products and services that I personally believe in or use personally.

Over the course of the last few years I have experimented and transitioned through a variety of diets and food restrictions. And can I just say: it’s not for the faint of heart.

Some of my shifts in diet were directed by doctors, while others my body demanded in ALL CAPS. Regardless of the reason, one things remains true: eating out when you can’t eat just any ole thing can prove quite challenging.

Now, there are the obvious ways to get around it, of course. You can ask all the questions to your waiter. Or search through Yelp and Google for reviews that specifically mention your diet or allergies. And you can even just avoid the whole dining out scene entirely.

But what would make this process a whole lot easier would be restaurant menus being more user-friendly for guests with food allergies or restrictions. Yet in my experience, there are far too few restaurants that go that extra mile.

So what if restaurants could help us diners simplify the process of finding safe food to eat? And what if we could easily find those restaurants that match up with our unique dining needs? Well, THIS is the mission of DineSafe, an app that makes the process of safe dining easier for both restaurants and guests that have food allergies.

Last year I was offered an opportunity to explore and review this app, and I found it to be such a powerful tool. Something that has stood out to me in getting to know the company is the passion the founders have for creating safe dining experiences for all.

With more than 15 million Americans affected by some form of food allergy, it seems like common sense for restaurants to get on board with accommodating more than the average Joe, amiright?

Using the App

You aren’t required to create an account in order to use this app (which is free, by the way), however they make it SUPER simple to create your own food preference profile. There’s a list of 33 allergens you can sort through, adding any and all that apply to your needs by simply tapping on each item.

Then, say on top of an allergy you have to peanuts you also follow a gluten free diet. No problem! There are 11 different diet options  (gluten free, Vegan or Paleo to name a few) that you can choose from that can be incorporated into your personal preferences, too.

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Once you’ve created your profile, you’ll be able to search threw a database of restaurants in your area that fit your specific needs. You can also endorse restaurants near you that you know have safe menu items for certain restrictions and suggest restaurants you’d like to see join the movement.

A Great Tool for Restaurants.

The founders have aimed to make the process of creating an account simple for restaurants. Understanding that the time of restaurant owners is valuable and the process of identifying allergens can feel overwhelming, their team will do the bulk of the work. They’ll able to manage both large nationwide chains as well as our go-to local favorites.

They’ll help the restaurants create an interactive menu that lists their items, identifies common allergens, highlights nutritional information (like no sugar added or low sodium) and aligns dishes with any of the 11 diets offered. The team at DineSafe is also working on a new feature which will give restaurants access to analytics that will show them the biggest needs and trends in their area.

And the best part of all? It’s FREE for restaurants, too. No cost to the restaurant and it puts their menu on the map for those of us looking for safe places to eat. Win-win, right?

If you’re reading this and thinking “I NEED this app”, you can find it on both Apple and Android. Let me know if you do!

You can also follow DineSafe on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new restaurants and features when they’re added. They’re about to launch their first nationwide restaurant chain soon so be on the lookout for that!

Do you have any tips for dining out with food allergies? I’d love to hear what’s been helpful for you!

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