Much of the talk about transparency and food served at restaurants has to do with Congressional action, posting nutrition facts on menus, and the debate over what size of restaurant chain can actually comply without suffering a significant financial hit.
I'm loving how this Denver-based chain is using technology to look out for their customers:
Mad Greens, an 11-unit chain based in Denver, is offering a website tool to help its customers who have food allergies more easily navigate its menu. The move aims to increase guest traffic among its current diners with allergies, as well as attract new customers looking for food allergy-friendly brands.
One of my good friends recently learned that she has celiac disease, which required her to adopt a gluten-free diet. She now has to scour food labels, double check restaurant menus, and look at the fine details to ensure she doesn't consume food with gluten. She's also a social media guru who would probably love what Mad Greens' approach to transparency.
The other interesting approach to Mad Greens' tech efforts is that they're going after a demographic that I think most restaurants fear rather than want to court: people with food allergies. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, around 3 percent of American adults have at least one or more food allergies. The rise of children under 18 with a food allergy also increased 18 percent between 1997 to 2007.
Mad Greens is exhibiting what it means to care about your customers -- whether they have food allergies or not.