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Hidden Gems: Meet Janylle Radden of MenuMD

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janylle Radden. 

Hi Janylle, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
As long as I can remember, I’ve had a food allergy. The first time I remember having an allergic reaction, I was 5 years old. I’ve been navigating dining out with a food allergy my entire life and it’s not been easy but I’ve gotten used to it. Speaking to managers and servers, asking questions, avoiding eating when there’s any uncertainty, etc. My family and I went to dinner at a Las Vegas restaurant and when I went to order food, I asked the server what I could safely eat with my food allergy and the server stepped away and brought back an allergy menu featuring every dish as well as what allergens were present in each. I had never felt so safe in a restaurant in my life. It was that night that MenuMD was born. We had to make that kind of information and that confident feeling accessible to everyone. I’ve been working hard to collaborate with restaurants all over the country to clearly identify the allergens on their menu as well as the vegan and vegetarian items so that customers can have a simpler, safer dining experience. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road. Several challenges have presented themselves. Covid has been the biggest impact so far in that the restaurant industry was by far one of the hardest hit. Restaurants were very unsure of their future and were, therefore, reluctant to make new plans and connections. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about MenuMD?
MenuMD is a website and app that helps vegan, vegetarian, and food allergic people to find out what they can safely eat at any restaurant. We work with restaurants to upload their menus as well as their allergen content – no recipes, no secret sauce, just a yes/no answer to what’s in their food. I’m always proud when I speak to people and tell them what I do because every single person has some story or connection to a person with dietary restrictions of some sort. I am so grateful and excited to help these people find new places to eat or even to dine more confidently at restaurants they know and ones they don’t know. I’ve found a way to make it easy for restaurants to input their allergens without being too tedious or invasive. We also link to restaurants’ reservation systems so customers can book directly which ensures that fewer people will fail to reserve when seeking out their information due to having to navigate to another site. I’m helping people to be more comfortable and confident when dining out on dates or at business meals when they may not want to have a thorough conversation with their server in front of others. One can pull up the site at the table and know instantly what they can eat. Simultaneously, we’re helping restaurants save time during service and making it so servers don’t have to know every detail of every dish. 

What were you like growing up?
I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ but have lived in several major US cities since then. Growing up I was very shy and worked to grow out of that. I have suffered from food allergies for as long as I can remember which has informed a lot of my moves as I grew up and through adulthood. I have had an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Regina Felice
Badass Women Photos

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