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 Post subject: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:26 am 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:36 pm
Posts: 3
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but I'd love to get your feedback on an iPhone app called AnyMeal that some friends and I have been working on: (http://www.anymealapp.com) The app helps anyone find restaurants and dishes in their area that best cater to their dietary needs. Fortunately for you, we're looking to launch in SF and to start with vegan restaurants :)

I know how hard it can be to find this dietary information before going to a restaurant. Even when you're there, it's often hard to trust the waiter. That's why we collect the most reliable data possible (directly from the managers/chefs) and allow people to share their experiences at restaurants with others.

Anyways, I'd be very interested in hearing your opinions on such an app, and whether you think it would help remove some of the eating out frustrations for you. Also interested to learn how you normally track down restaurants that you'd be able to eat out. And what about when you're eating in a large group? That's even harder!

Thanks!
Drew

P.S. Feel free to message me if you're interested in beta testing this app. We already have quite a bit of data from restaurants in the Bay Area :)


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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:13 am 
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Addicted to B12 Enemas
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 240
Location: San Francisco
I think it's a good idea for general information, but we still have to do the work for ourselves at any omni restaurant. If I know anything about dining out (which I do every single day as I have no kitchen), it's every server is different. At any given restaurant, they are trained differently, have their own food educations and levels of interest. Some people care, others don't. It's obvious the second you ask "is the rice vegetarian or cooked in chicken stock?". The server who cares says "let me double check that for you" and asks the kitchen, but more often than not, you get an "I think so" and they stand there looking at you as if that is good enough. I know a server at a very popular restaurant who thought the gluten free GF on the menu stood for "garden fresh". I mean, seriously.

While San Francisco has amazing, incredible food and more options than most cities, it still has places that do not care or know what they are serving people. We have to do the work and ask the questions just like people that live in smaller cities. I don't think an app can take out the guess work. But I do wish you all the best!


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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:00 pm 
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Emotionally Allergic to Dairy
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:28 pm
Posts: 3178
Location: San Francisco
I mostly agree with Alin.

What I usually do right now is do a Yelp search and read the menu to see if I see anything. However, it can be a huge pain in the asparagus when I'm out at a bar and just want to find a place that can accommodate me quickly.

So what I WOULD like would be an app that pulls my GPS location and will sort by distance restaurants that are nearby that are either veg*n, veg*n friendly, or historically willing to accommodate. Then I could go from there, instead of having to just guess and check menus and so on.

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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Location: SF Bay area
DarthCupcake wrote:
I mostly agree with Alin.

What I usually do right now is do a Yelp search and read the menu to see if I see anything. However, it can be a huge pain in the asparagus when I'm out at a bar and just want to find a place that can accommodate me quickly.

So what I WOULD like would be an app that pulls my GPS location and will sort by distance restaurants that are nearby that are either veg*n, veg*n friendly, or historically willing to accommodate. Then I could go from there, instead of having to just guess and check menus and so on.

Doesn't the Happy Cow app do that?

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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:36 pm
Posts: 3
Alin and DarthCupcake, thanks for sharing! It's great to get your feedback.

We still recommend that everyone checks with someone at the restaurant before eating a dish. However, as Alin mentioned, often the waiters themselves have very little idea as to what's vegan and what's not. As a result, we get our data directly from the owners or manager, and have a portal so that they can keep the information up-to-date.

I've used Happy Cow before as a vegetarian, and I think it's great. We're trying to expand on it by revealing detailed dietary information for each dish on the menu. That way you can enter the restaurant with a dish already in mind.

So here's a question: since you've used Yelp before, have any of you also written reviews? Would you write a short review about a dish for fellow vegans in an app like this one? Maybe even upload some photos?


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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Lime and a Coconut
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Hey, don't focus groups usually get some kind of compensation for doing your market research, like a gift certificate or something? I think I need to ponder the details of this app over a 5-course meal from Millennium.

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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Addicted to B12 Enemas
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 240
Location: San Francisco
My opinions aren't so fancy. I can be bought off for a few tacos and a margarita.

TWO! Make it two margaritas.


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 Post subject: Re: How about an app to find the BEST vegan restaurants?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Lime and a Coconut
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Location: Smugville, CA
A bargaining war, eh? Okay, I'll go to 3 taquitos and a beer and NO LOWER!

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Too much woo, you guys. Too much woo ~Tofulish
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