Ipswich app bids to stop food allergy deaths and make eating out safer
- Credit: Archant
An Ipswich trio have launched an innovative app which will make eating out for those with a restrictive diet safer and easier, following the shocking high-profile deaths caused by allergic reactions.
There are around two million allergy sufferers in the UK and now 'And it Has' - a free to use menu, allergy and ingredient app - is set to make people with dietary intolerances "sit and eat with a smile on their face".
The app has been launched by Ipswich-based business partners Richard Reynolds, 44, and Ewan Phillips, 42, alongside 38-year-old Eva Reitbauer from Austria.
'And it Has' reflects the journeys and needs of its founders - Eva struggles with a restrictive diet, Richard is gluten intolerant and a passionate technologist and product developer, and Ewan is a Suffolk food-marketing graduate and previous cafe owner.
Speaking of the new venture, Ewan said: "We are so excited and buzzing to get going. We've been building the app for nine months solidly, perfecting and adjusting it along the way to ensure it's perfect."
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'And it Has' was launched last month at the Olympia Restaurant show and already a number of Ipswich eateries - including The Grazing Sheep, The Greyhound pub, award-winning TFI Vegan, Cult Cafe, The Forge and The Hot Sausage Company - have all got behind the Ipswich startup.
Ewan says the development of the app has been spurred on following the recent high-profile deaths of allergy sufferers, including the sudden death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette on an airplane.
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He said: "Things can be so much better. Our app will help people guarantee that what they are eating is safe and will not cause them an allergic reaction. It will stop people worrying and make dining out a much more enjoyable experience."
How does it work?
When using the app, once you enter a restaurant a personally filtered menu is presented instantly on your phone. For those without the app, access to the same 'And it Has' menu is done by scanning a QR code - and no app install is required.
How can it benefit your business?
Bart Bisbal, owner of the Grazing Sheep, which is the first Ipswich restaurant to introduce 'And it Has', says he would recommend the revolutionary product to other businesses.
He said: "Having been involved in various projects to take our business into all the new food/dietary trends, I can honestly say that they are well ahead of anyone else.
"Ewan did an outstanding job working together with Julian and trying to understand the day to day challenges of trying to comply with laws and health issues alike."
What's next for 'And it Has'?
The app's core service is free for all businesses and everything will remain free for the consumer, reassures Ewan - but chargeable value-added modules will be launched over the coming months as the business grows.
As of next week, The Strand hotel in London will take the first installation of the module Tracker - allowing customers to communicate their dietary needs directly with the chef preparing their meal.
A website plugin will also be introduced in the future, along with a take-away label printer which will be a cost effective solution to 'Natasha's Law'.
You can find out more about the app here.