Extra! Extra! Gluten Dude is at it again! The main man behind the popular blog is launching an app and we were lucky enough to catch Gluten Dude for a virtual Q&A. Read on to find out more about what we can look forward to when you download the Gluten Dude app!
Ghostfish: What made you want to create the app?
Gluten Dude: The purpose of my app is simple: to better the lives of those living with celiac disease and anyone else who must eat gluten-free; to create a close-knit community where people in the gluten-free community come to discover, to learn, to share, and to connect, all to make their lives easier, better and healthier.
Living a 100% gluten-free life certainly has its challenges: physically, mentally, and socially. Using the Gluten Dude app will help to alleviate some of those challenges.
Ghostfish: Tell us about some of the challenges the Gluten Dude app will assist us with.
Gluten Dude: Eating out is one of the more challenging and stressful parts of having celiac disease. One crumb is all it takes to set off the autoimmune response. Everything that is fun and spontaneous about eating out can be overshadowed by the anxiety of whether you can get through your meal unscathed. [The app will provide a] directory of 100% gluten-free restaurants, restaurants that are gluten-free friendly, recommended by the community, and personally vetted by Gluten Dude, all in an effort to guarantee you a safe meal. Each restaurant includes images, a description, reviews, ratings, directions, etc. Some restaurants even include a video and their menu. The user will be able to search by their current location or another location. The app currently covers the US, Canada, Paris, Italy, London, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia, with more locations coming. Eating without fear. What a concept.
The internet is littered with falsehoods, outright lies, and dangerous information regarding celiac disease and eating gluten-free. People are looking for answers to their problems, quickly and accurately, and they are not sure where to turn or who to trust, putting their health in jeopardy. [On the app, you’ll find a] forum run by the most trusted voices in the celiac community. There are a number of topics where you’ll be able to chime in with questions, answers, and advice. The forum sticks to the facts, allowing people to get the answers they need…and deserve. The forum includes Ask the Physician, Ask the Dietitian, Ask the Chef, and more, where you’ll be able to get direct answers from experts in the industry.
Ghostfish: We hear that your app will help folks find gluten free beer, we’re obviously pretty stoked about this feature. Can you tell us about it?
Gluten Dude: Beer, sadly, is not gluten-free. The most popular “gluten-free” beers on the market today are actually “gluten-removed” and are not safe for those with celiac disease. There are a handful of amazing 100% gluten-free beers out there nowadays, but because their distribution is limited, they can be really difficult to find. I can’t tell you how many stores I personally have walked into fingers crossed, only to come out empty-handed. The Gluten Dude app shows the stores, bars, and restaurants where people can purchase gluten-free beer. The user will be able to search by any location and each location will show which specific gluten-free beers each establishment carries. Cheers!
Ghostfish: What will be the primary differences between this app and others on the market?
Gluten Dude: What other apps on the market??? Just kidding. While there is nothing that offers the celiac/GF communities as much as the Gluten Dude app will (restaurants, beer, forum, videos, chat, etc.), there are one or two apps that focus on locating gluten-free restaurants. The main one has been out for some time now. Kudos to them for standing the test of time. The main difference is that my app will initially focus on only 100% GF restaurants. You will not find fast-food restaurants and any other restaurants that cannot keep the community safe.
Ghostfish: What was the most challenging aspect of creating this app?
Gluten Dude: Coronavirus!! I’m sort of joking, but not really. We kicked off development in late winter, just before the virus struck. The development team I hired all had to go virtual, which definitely slowed things up a bit.
Locating and vetting all of the GF restaurants was quite a challenge as well. For each suggested restaurant, I first had to make sure they were completely gluten free; sometimes easier said than done. Then for the ones that made the list, I had to gather the address, phone number, and URL, as well as putting together a nice one-paragraph description and a great photo. Doing this for over 1,500 restaurants…well…you can imagine.
While I’ve enjoyed the process, I will say that it’s been a challenge and a half to get it done. But it will be worth the wait.
Ghostfish: What were you pleasantly surprised by when creating the app?
GD: Hmmm…that’s a good question. I love the responses I’ve been getting from the app testers. From those in the celiac/GF community to the restaurants who will be on the app, pretty much everyone has shared my excitement. It really is a win-win for everyone.
The Gluten Dude app is available now, learn more here >> https://glutendude.app/.