Foodini’s mission is to make dining with food allergies and dietary requirements easier, faster, safer and more enjoyable!
The Foodini Story
Everybody in Australia knows somebody with a food allergy, intolerance or preference. The vegan co-worker, the coeliac cousin, the friend with a nut allergy. And dietary requirements have risen dramatically over the last decade and are continuing to do so. Foodini was created to solve a very simple but very important problem – where is it suitable for me to eat, and exactly what can I eat when I get there?
With Foodini, users can create a customised profile of their specific dietary requirements (31 different diets and allergens to choose from) and Foodini will then show them which restaurants have options for them, and an exact breakdown of what they can and can’t eat on each menu. Foodini onboards restaurants to its platform using an accredited practicing dietitian who reviews and uploads all menus to the app. This helps ensure that the information is accurate and allows users to dine with some peace of mind. Importantly, it also contains information about restaurants cross-contamination capability, which is crucial for people with severe allergies.
A Note From Our Founder
Foodini founder Dylan McDonnell was diagnosed with coeliac disease when he was 10 years old after several years of being quite ill. When finally the discovery was made that he was a coeliac, he moved onto a gluten free diet and has not looked back since. In the early 2000’s, coeliac disease was not commonly known, and finding edible gluten free alternatives in shops and restaurants was a nightmare.
Fast forward 20 years later and approximately 3.5 million Australians follow some form of gluten free diet, with 1 in 70 Australians having coeliac disease according to Coeliac Australia. Similarly the huge rise in popularity of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, FODMAPS and other diets has taken the world by storm.
Why then is it still so difficult for people to find restaurants that they can eat in, and more importantly, eat in with some comfort knowing that the allergen information on the menu is accurate?
Like many coeliacs and people with other dietary requirements, Dylan has struggled over the years to find suitable places to eat out with friends and family. The normal process involves doing some research online and on facebook groups, checking the restaurants menu, and ringing to speak to a staff member to make sure it is coeliac friendly. On arrival a staff member is also asked the same questions to ensure all is in order. He experienced many examples of restaurants claiming food was gluten free when it was not, resulting in various non-enjoyable symptoms. Many staff members are often completely ignorant to the fact that food allergies exist and are quite serious.
In late 2020, Dylan decided to do something about it, and thus Foodini was born!