August 2011 – More than 14 million college students are going back to school this month, with nearly 3 million freshmen attending college for the first time. These students are worried about their workload, class schedules and new roommates, but students with food allergies and intolerances have additional concerns about where they’ll be able to safely dine out. AllergyEats (www.allergyeats.com), the biggest and fastest growing source for finding allergy-friendly restaurants, offers a solution.
AllergyEats, a 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 accommodate their specific dietary requirements – and avoid the ones that won’t.
“For people with food allergies, dining out can be a stressful experience. And for college students, who may be out on their own for the first time this fall, that anxiety is multiplied, especially if they’re in an unfamiliar town. Now, they can depend on AllergyEats to find (and rate) allergy-friendly restaurants on – or near – campus,” said Paul Antico, founder of AllergyEats, food allergy advocate and father of three food allergic children.
AllergyEats lists more than 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.
AllergyEats is different than ‘typical’ restaurant review sites, which rate restaurants based on food, ambiance and service. AllergyEats is singularly focused on food allergies, with peer reviews spotlighting where people with food allergies or intolerances have more comfortably eaten.
“A huge, important component to the college experience is the social element, as college students strive to make friends, fit in and not seem different or high maintenance. Teens may feel embarrassed about explaining their food restrictions at restaurants, especially to a server who doesn’t understand food allergy preparations or protocols. By using AllergyEats to find allergy-friendly restaurants in advance, these students can feel more comfortable – and in control – when dining out,” Antico explained.
“And, obviously, there’s the bigger issue of avoiding an allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening for people with severe allergies,” Antico continued. “This can be a tremendous fear for food-allergic college students who are away from their parents and their familiar routines, sometimes for the first time.”
AllergyEats has experienced steady growth since its February 2010 launch, and now has more than 15,000 monthly users and 5,000+ food allergic fans regularly sharing ideas through the AllergyEats Blog and associated social media sites.
AllergyEats has been endorsed by highly-respected food, health and allergy organizations and individuals, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Gluten Intolerance Group, Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Chef Ming Tsai and more.
For more information, please visit www.allergyeats.com.