Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.
Travel… Dining out…Can be someone with food allergies’ worst nightmare. Chances are, you’re in this boat, and you’re well aware that dining out on a restricted diet can result in great success or fast failure. Thankfully… there’s an app for that (we had to say it!) YoDish is a fast and fun way to share food allergy, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan dining experiences and read reviews by others to help you make plans–even at Disney World! Here’s a little bit more about the brains behind the operation:
1. Inquiring minds want to know — how did you come up with the name YoDish?
I wish I could say that it just came to me, but it wasn’t nearly that easy. My wife and I spent tons of time brainstorming for a name, and we previously launched a website called Allergen Menu and eventually the app with the name Noshed It. We quickly discovered that most people were not familiar with the word Nosh, which means to eat or snack, and everyone struggled with the pronunciation, most going with “No Shed It” – it was a disaster.
Ultimately, we ran a naming contest on crowdSPRING and received well over a 1,000 ideas. It was awesome! One of the ideas was YoDish, which had everything we were looking for in a name. We loved how several relevant meanings could be read into the name. The one I identify with the most is YoDish being a mashup of Your Dish since we help you find the dishes that work for you. My wife thought using “Yo” made it fun and catchy. In fact, she kind of wishes she could change her handle from “AllergenMenuMom” to “YoMama”.
2. Tell us more about what made you want to create this App.
When our first daughter was about nine months old, she was diagnosed food allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts. The adjustment involved in keeping her safe was incredibly overwhelming for my wife and I, with dining out being just one of many challenges we faced.
I love to eat out, and I love to travel, but I believe dining out is far more significant than just a form of entertainment. Dining out is frequently a stage for developing new relationships, whether they be social or business related. I am looking forward to traveling as a family, and I don’t want my children to be hampered in any way from pursuing their dreams or excelling in any career they choose.
Since beginning our journey with food restrictions, our third child has also been diagnosed with a food allergy, and my wife has gone gluten free in an effort to manage migraine headaches and GI issues. We need YoDish now more than ever, and we are constantly working to improve it.
3. What’s the craziest/funniest/most memorable comment you’ve read or heard from a YoDish user?
For me, the most memorable comments from users are the stories where a server or chef goes out of their way to create an incredible dining experience for someone with special dietary needs. Celebrating those heroes is what YoDish is all about.
4. YoDish shares so many special diets dining reviews from the Walt Disney World Resort. If you had to pick a place to eat based on reviews which restaurant would you go to and why?
If I could go today, I would pick Kouzzina because I love Greek and Mediterranean cooking. In particular, Kouzzina’s veg-heavy samplers look amazing. Given that Kouzzina is closing, and I won’t be in Orlando until November, though, I will be sure to visit Sanaa. There are so many incredible-looking Sanaa dishes in the app that I may not be able to limit myself to only one. I know without question that I will order the Indian Style Bread Service.
5. We love how easy YoDish is to use when we visit Disney! Tell us, are there any new exciting updates to YoDish on the horizon?
I can’t tell you how excited I am about our upcoming release of YoDish 2.0 because we are adding features that we really wanted to have when using it ourselves. Among the changes will be an increase in the number of dishes as well as the ability to interact with other users regarding dishes and reviews. Our goal with YoDish is to revolutionize dining out with specialty diets by building an app so easy and fun to use that folks can’t help but join the moment.