Last Call for Suggested Mobile App Features

app for those with celiac disease

Hey everyone…it’s Scott. Who???? Sorry…that’s my stage name. It’s Gluten Dude. As many of you know, I am building a mobile app for the gluten-free/celiac community. And for those that don’t know, I am building a mobile app for the gluten-free/celiac community. I’ve come across a few things along my journey:

  • I was going to use a 3rd party tool to build the app, thinking it would be quicker and much less costly. But it couldn’t do close to what I wanted the app to do so I began my search for a development team to build it with/for me and posted something on my LinkedIn page.
  • I got about 100 email responses, 2/3 of which had numerous grammar and/or spelling mistakes. Struck those off my list and settled on 6 companies to reach out to and I sent them my specs and they got back to me with pricing.
  • Holy crap! Building a kick ass app is expensive!! I mean…I knew that going in but yikes.
  • I’ll be running a GoFundMe campaign in the coming week or so to help cover the cost of the build. The tagline for my app is “Built FOR the Gluten-Free Community. Supported BY the Gluten-Free Community.” There will be no advertising and I won’t be taking a penny from any companies so I hope you’ll support the cause and spread the word when the time comes.

Ok…moving on. As soon as I get some funding, I’m going to start building it. It’s a bit of a lengthy process and I want to get started ASAP. So…since I’m building the app for you…I want to make sure it meets YOUR needs. I’m reaching out to you wonderful people to see if you had any last minute requests/suggestions that you’d love to see on the app.

My goal/hope/prayer is that the app will be a place where the gluten-free community can find safe places to eat, connect with each other, connect with me, make some friends, learn some things and enjoy themselves.

Here is what the app will entail so far (still working out the details but this is the gist):

  • We’ll have as many 100% gluten-free restaurants as we can locate in US and Canada (and then expand from there.) You’ll be able to find a restaurant by your current location, zip code, etc. You will also be able to leave reviews. This will be updated monthly.
  • You’ll be able to find gluten-FREE beer in US and Canada. I’m working with as many brew-masters as I can to get a monthly listing of where their beers can be found (restaurants/bars/stores). Stay thirsty my friends.
  • You’ll be able to connect with each other. And isn’t that what community is all about? We’ll have public chat rooms and you’ll be able to chat privately as well. And there will be an option to find a fellow subscriber by zip code. And yes…I will be an active participant.
  • I’ll be answering your emails. I have a backlog of emails to respond to. On a regular basis, I’ll post your emails and then answer them via written, audio and/or video.
  • You’ll be able read my blog. Yes…I’m keeping my blog going. It’s been 8 years and 710 posts. No reason to stop now.
  • I’ll have push notifications so I can let you all know when something exciting/important happens (i.e. a new restaurant opens, a product gets recalled, I go to the bathroom, etc.) Don’t worry…I won’t bug ya too often.

There will be a few static pages as well, but the above list is the meat of it.

So…it’s last call for suggestions. What feature(s) not listed above 1) would you like to see? or 2) is needed in the gluten-free/celiac community?

Bar closes at midnight. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

Yes…I used to bar-tend.

Cheers and thanks!



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27 thoughts on “Last Call for Suggested Mobile App Features”

  1. Are you ONLY including 100% gluten free restaurants, or will you have a section for restaurants who have completed certification for cross-contact? The GFFP seems to be doing good work, and helping restaurants learn safety measures to keep their Celiac clientele safe. Just wondering if you think it would be worthwhile to include restaurants with GFFP certification in a separate list.

      1. I reluctantly agree with the Dude. Someone else will have to document the truly top-notch places that take cross-contamination seriously.

      2. I agree. There are other apps that show who serves GF- For yours to be based on 100% GF will differentiate you and make you even more special, Scott 🙂

  2. What about a section for grocery stores? Some are better than others and if it can be filtered by state and town it would be great when traveling.

    1. It’s a good idea…but there’s just no way I’d have the time to figure that out. Within the app, I will let people open up their own topics where others can chime in. Thanks.

  3. I totally agree with the 100% GF aspect. I love that! Im not interested in finding someplace to eat that is ‘pretty good at not poisoning me’ Im looking for a place that has no chance to poison me. AT ALL.

    I feel like really often we are at the mercy of what is available to us, it would be nice to rate places based on our experience. I know this could get dicey. I can imagine people, “I had the cheese board and 5 glasses of wine and puked my guts out. I WAS GLUTENED!” I can see it now!

    Maybe a thumbs up or thumbs down for overall quality?

  4. Thank you for all that you are doing! I was diagnosed Celiac 4 years ago and am still learning. It’s so hard to navigate where gluten may be hiding. My suggestions are: 1) A section for newbies , tips on how to look for hidden gluten, cooking, how to make your home a safe place for cooking, myths about Celiac/gluten etc…
    2) A section on how to navigate when travelling, especially outside of Canada and the U.S. I myself have not travelled far and feel a bit nervous. I would love to hear how others cope when travelling.
    Thank you for asking for our ideas

  5. ChristineSteiner

    How about a list of respected Doctors who actually understand celiac and wont tell you its ok to eat a little gluten on occasion. Or a list of symptoms and tests to diagnose lists of GF medications just some thoughts

  6. I, too, would love a section on respected doctors as my daughter’s GP just told her there is a possibility that she can outgrow celiac. (I had to interrupt and try to educate…time to find a new GP.)

  7. I am so excited for this app roll-out! Please do be sure to liberally cross-post the Go Fund Me when you launch it – I will absolutely chip in.

    Regarding suggestions – will the app have the bandwidth (sorry if it’s the wrong tech term) to host forums (yeah, I know it’s really ‘fora’, but whatever) – anyway, forums would be fun – maybe not a huge thing, but a handful of forums would be good. Although it sounds like maybe you already have a space for it “Within the app, I will let people open up their own topics where others can chime in”.

  8. Oh! And I agree with only 100% GF dedicated restaurants. Currently I’m using FindMeGlutenFree, but I’d really prefer to have and rely on a very robust and current list of dedicated 100% restaurants. To quote Julia above, “I’m not interested in finding someplace to eat that is ‘pretty good at not poisoning me’ I’m looking for a place that has no chance to poison me. AT ALL.”

      1. Exactly. This kind of review drives me nuts. Thank you for sticking to only fully GF restaurants. There should be plenty of overlap with Paleo restaurants to have a good set of choices.

  9. How about an alphabetical list of all those weirdo ingredients that no one can pronounce that contain gluten?

  10. Thanks for all the hard work, Gluten Dude. This is awesome. I will definitely contribute to your Go Fund Me page.

  11. Why not partner with FindMeGlutenFree for the restaurant reviews? They have a flag to mark restaurants that are 100% gluten-free.

    Although the idea of building your own review system may sound appealing, it doesn’t take into account that 1) sourcing these places and getting accurate data on them is *hard* and 2) reviews are most helpful in aggregate. Getting a lot of reviews, especially for something relatively niche like GF, is also hard. If you can work with FMGF, you’d have a much broader array of data to draw from and would present a much more useful product to your users.

    1. I appreciate your input. I know they now show 100% GF restaurants, but the app itself is dangerous. People are calling restaurants “celiac safe” when they simply are not. There is enough bad info out on the internet when it comes to celiac disease and gluten-free. You’re right. It may take a bit of time to get reviews, etc. But none of them will put the community in danger. Thanks again for your thoughts.

  12. Allow us a place to list restaurants and bars to stay away from and why. The why is important because I asked for a GF beer and was offered O’Doul’s and a gluten removed beer. I switched to wine, and I would include this option in my description; however, if someone REALLY wants a beer, they should stay away.

  13. I know I’m late to this party, but can I add… senior citizens are diagnosed more often than anyone except children (with known family history), simply because as you age, the chances of activating the genes goes up naturally. And being partly disabled myself, I know how important it is to have local catering companies who are willing to make you a week’s worth of food, or even a few day’s worth to help pick up some of the burden of cooking. So I want to suggest that you include catering companies to your listings. There’s a website called Bob and Ruth’s that helps travelers find safe options, and they may be more expert in more parts of the country and world about how to find these caterers. Several people I know said that they arrange with a local caterer if they have to travel for business.

    My own Resources page has a list of caterers and food trucks that are safe in Raleigh-Durham, NC, but my expertise is local. I’d love to see a few options for caterers included. Or maybe a later expansion to include traveling and catering companies who work that way.

    So for example, in my area I’ve used Oven Lovie’s (Triangle Gluten Free LLC) to help reduce how often I have to cook. Chef Patterson (the owner) is affected by gluten as well and her kitchen is totally GF. Usually she uses organic ingredients. Sometimes these small businesses are wonderful and give you more than you might expect.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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