BY JESS ROVEDA
For Richard Green, Delmar Powell, and David Pullar, winning a contest was all that they needed to bring their idea to life.
Since winning the $1,000 prize from Sheridan’s Next Big Idea contest in October, the creators of the Second Waiter app have taken their marketing to the next level through an official release.
Second Waiter is an app that lets diners know what’s in their food when they go out to eat, with a focus on ingredients that trigger allergies.
The app, which contains nutrition and allergy information for over 40,000 menu items from 300 restaurant chains, was released on Feb. 9.
Pullar describes the app and its features as “meaningful tools for people with food allergies to quickly and easily navigate restaurant menus.”
Second Waiter goes beyond pulling in simple information that could be found on a restaurant’s website, as its creators believe in the importance of communicating with the restaurants to find out more specific information.
“We’re actively trying to connect with restaurants, and if they don’t have their allergy information we’re trying to help them through that process,” said Green. “Especially the smaller chains. They don’t know how to do it, so we’re helping them to navigate that as well.”
The team has been working closely not only with the restaurant chains involved (which they were not allowed to mention at time of interview), but also with users to create a better experience.
“People want to see allergies [added] like strawberries, and garlic, and things that we had no idea people were allergic to, so we’re getting a lot from [users] and how they would like to use the app,” said Green. “We’re actively just connecting with our user-base, and having them lead the product development from here on.”
Green said information will constantly be updated through the help of users and restaurants.
“We’re actively connecting with foodies, people with food allergies and bloggers to get their feedback, because we’re actively changing things on the fly,” said Green. “Our main concern is getting to the heads of the restaurants, which we’re just getting their ears after all these months, because no one really knows who we are, but after [the Restaurant Canada Show] we’re hoping we’ll be on the map.”
Since its release, Green, Powell, and Pullar have been showcasing Second Waiter at conventions such as the Restaurant Canada Show, and at the upcoming Green Living Show to promote the brand and create more connections.
Second Waiter is available for free on the App Store for iOS devices.