We all have our preferences when it comes to food.

40% of Indians are vegetarians. Kosher and Halal foods are those that conform to the Jewish and Islamic dietary regulations respectively. Millions of people also prefer a gluten-free or a vegan diet or have some sort of allergy (for eg., Cow's Milk, Shellfish, Soy or Peanuts).

Have you ever:

  • been seated near others eating foods that you are allergic to?
  • struggled to find a restaurant that caters to your dietary restrictions?
  • waited in line at a restaurant, wondering if the restaurant one over might be faster?
  • felt awkward dining alone?
  • gave up on your healthy eating goals as you watched everyone around you order steaks?

MerryDining is for you!

What it does

MerryDining is an app that allows you to make reservations at restaurants/bars matching your dietary restrictions. With a reservation made on MerryDining, you can be seated near people with similar tastes/preferences. It also lets you connect with foodies who go to the same/similar restaurants who have similar food preferences as you.

There are two interfaces we developed for it:

1. Customer-side: users can sign up and choose their dietary preferences, explore restaurants and fellow MerryDiners nearby, and make reservations according to their dietary preferences! They can also pair up with others with similar dietary preferences who are dining alone.

2. Restaurant-side: restaurant managers can view the reserved and free seats. Our algorithm automatically clusters people of similar dietary preferences together. For example, vegan people will be found mostly sitting around each other, people allergic to shellfish will be kept away from tables with such orders/nearby other allergic people to ease the food serving process.

How we built it

  • Figma for UI/UX design
  • React-native for mobile frontend
  • Plotly Dash for restaurant frontend/dashboard

Challenges we ran into

Working across different timezones

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Managed to make an MVP while working across four timezones:

  • UK (GMT +1)
  • India (GMT +5.5)
  • Saudi Arabia (GMT +3)
  • USA (GMT -5)

What we learned

  • Do not put Touchables inside ImageBackground tags

What's next for MerryDining

  • automatically import restaurant layouts and make it easier for restaurants to sign up for the service
  • scaling our provided solution to restaurant chains and malls
  • food waste prevention by enabling efficient group ordering
  • bill sharing with friends
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