My partner's little brother has an egg allergy. Every time their family goes out to dinner, they have to ask the waiter/waitress if a certain menu item has Egg in it, which usually is about a 10 minute process for the waiter to go back and forth for information that should already be accessible to everyone, even before they walk into the restaurant.
What it does
When a user signs up and applies their dietary needs and preferences, they have access to a local map to which they can view local restaurants' regular menus, and custom menUs based on their dietary settings and appropriate warnings for certain food items that may have substitutes available.
How we built it
We used React-Native to build the cross-platform app that communicates to an API on a standalone web server running Node.js and using JSON Web Tokens as authentication to retrieve local restaurants and retrieve/save user settings on their dietary preferences.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of the overall outcome of this app, the UI, the functionality, but most of all the purpose this app can serve to the 15 million Americans who have dietary allergens and even more who want to start viewing a healthier menU at their favorite restaurant.
What we learned
We learned a lot about how React-Native works when communicating data from and to our API server. We also learned a lot more about JSON Web Tokens and how versatile it is with Mobile Applications since they lack sessions like web browsers hold. Like most projects we face, we learn a lot more about the semantics and syntax of any of the languages we used and helps us become even more comfortable writing larger scale apps with these languages.
Our Database uses MONGODB. When getting a restaurant on board, we have made a web form for us to add new restaurants and menu items with ease to follow our JSON schema when retrieving restaurant data, so it is modular and easy to modify. We also use MongoDB for User sign ups and dietary settings for each user.
What's next for menU
The roadmap for menU is now to start talking to more restaurants around our area to get in on this idea to help the convenience and safety of their customers and potential customers. Every restaurant business wants to increase convenience, and what better way to do that AND increase business visibility by having their mark on the map with local users!