NEW FREE APP CONNECTS IRISH SHOPPERS AND DINERS WITH IRISH FOOD PRODUCERS AND HOSPITALITY SECTOR DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
EatForIreland is a new web-based directory app linking Irish consumers with independent Irish food businesses (food producer, independent retail and hospitality sector) operating temporary safe-selling business models according to HSE guidelines, enabling Irish consumers to continue to access finest Irish fare and supporting the Irish food world during very challenging times caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
It is available for use by all outlets and producers and consumers throughout the 32 counties of Ireland.
A LIFELINE FOR THOSE CONFINED TO HOME
EatForIreland is especially useful to those people currently confined to home during the Covid-19 crisis and unable to go out to the shops, particularly, elderly people ‘cocooning’, the immuno-compromised and those self-isolating, either with the virus or displaying symptoms.
COOK-IT-YOURSELF AND COOKED-FOR-YOU
There are two primary categories: Cook It Yourself, connecting Irish food shoppers with the very finest of Irish produce; and Cooked For You, connecting Irish diners, wanting to ‘eat out at home’ for a change, with hospitality outlets still offering food for collection or delivery.
THE CREATORS OF EATFORIRELAND
The EatForIreland app is free and was developed by Donal Moran, Managing Director of Cork-based software company, WASP Technologies, and Irish food writer Joe McNamee (Irish Examiner, Eater, Food & Wine magazine, Sunday Business Post 101 Great Irish Restaurants, Irish Food Writers’ Guild) who worked on the app’s editorial content and structure. WASP technologies clients include several large companies operating in the food sector.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
EatForIreland allows independent food businesses to advertise themselves to consumers who, in turn, are seeking the very finest of Irish food and are keen to support the Irish food world through these very troubled times.
Food businesses (producers, independent food retailers or hospitality outlets) upload their information and link to details of their revised trading model following safe selling guidelines for their sector as advised by the HSE. Consumers can then search in their locality and filter results to search for a specific product or type of food and the set about ordering.
EatForIreland is a web-based directory app, not a shopping app, so it links consumers to the individual member’s primary web page with details of how to order, purchase and collect or take delivery of the particular member’s offering.
It is especially applicable to those businesses operating home delivery services or pre-ordered, pre-paid contactless collection services.
TYPES OF BUSINESSES
EatForIreland is designed to support the independent Irish food sector and the myriad Irish businesses operating within that category.
Cook It Yourself
Growers, Farmers, Specialty Producers (eg cheesemakers, bakers, charcuterie producers etc), Fishermen, Butchers and independent grocery stores, supermarkets, delicatessens, wine & craft beer retailers
Cooked For You
Independent restaurants, cafes and takeaways who have revised their business to cook food to be consumed at home.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD
EatForIreland is web-based to ensure immediate release. EatForIreland can be downloaded by clicking on the following link (http://eatforireland.ie) and then following simple instructions to install it on your smartphone home screen.
HOW TO USE
Businesses simply upload a brief description of their operation and offering along with a link to further relevant information about their temporary safe-selling business model. Consumers, in turn, are able to use EatForIreland to search their locality under two primary categories: Cook It Yourself (independent producers, growers, retailers, markets etc); or Cooked For You (independent hospitality outlets offering either takeaway or delivery service).
As well as catering for individual independent businesses, EatForIreland is also delighted to feature independent producer or market groups such as Neighbourfood, Real Bread Ireland or many other regional groupings such as Sligo Food Trails or Boyne Valley Flavours that have come together as umbrella organisations to jointly promote a local offering.
WHY DO WE NEED EATFORIRELAND?
Right now, many independent Irish food businesses who have done so much to build a thoroughly deserved and ever-growing international reputation for the island of Ireland as one of the best places in the world to eat, are finding their businesses, many of them built up over years, gravely threatened by the economic destruction of Covid-19.
Many of those businesses have found traditional markets have vanished overnight. Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality outlets, all now closed, can no longer welcome diners into their premises. Growers, producers and producers of specialty foods, many of whom exclusively supplied the hospitality sector or sold direct to consumers at farmer’s markets, are now struggling to get their products to the consumer.
The response of the Irish food world has, as always, been immediate, innovative and brave, and the Irish public have responded in kind, expressing a huge desire to support this very valued sector, but connecting the two has been problematic.
In addition, many people are confined to home during the Covid-19 crisis, particularly, elderly people currently ‘cocooning’, the immuno-compromised and those self-isolating, either with the virus or displaying symptoms and awaiting a test. EatForIreland opens up access to a whole wide world of finest Irish food beyond the offering from the major multiples, connecting these housebound shoppers with fresh, local seasonal fare that they would normally have purchased from farmer’s markets or other similar outlets.
Donal and Joe fervently hope EatForIreland will help to re-establish a greatly threatened chain, doing their bit to bring together once more Irish consumers with the very finest native fare, to feed and comfort us during troubled times and to ensure the continued viability of the many magnificent Irish food enterprises that they might still be there for us when we emerge from our homes once more.
DONAL ON EATFORIRELAND
“I was down in Kinsale in our campervan for a night with my wife pre-lockdown but after the restaurants and bars had been closed. We were trying to find restaurants that were offering a takeaway service, but there was no central source of this info. My background is in software development, and my own company, WASP Technologies, deals with many of Irelands largest food companies, so I could see first-hand the strain being put on the nation’s food supply chain. We are all struggling to think of what we can do to help during this period, and so the app was born. Our hope is that we can succeed in easily connecting food producers with new customers through our app, and we make a meaningful contribution during these challenging times.”
JOE ON EATFORIRELAND
“Food plays a central role in my daily life, both professionally and personally, and I could see very early on the enormous pain being inflicted on the Irish hospitality sector and the Irish producers of the truly world class food.
“There are also many people now confined to home, either because of their age or because they are especially vulnerable to Covid-19, and many of those same people who were used to looking beyond the major multiples for their weekly shopping are now finding it very hard to source their usual choices, when they were used to shopping for the very best of fresh, local seasonal produce in farmer’s markets, country markets, independent food retailers and grocers, and directly from primary producers.
“I immediately converted my weekly Irish Examiner food column, The Menu, into a sort of community bulletin board for the food world, in an attempt to alert readers to the alternative initiatives being employed to find new ways of delivering to the Irish customer but was almost immediately overwhelmed by the response, simply too much for me to cover adequately, so when Donal came to me with his idea for the app, it was pretty much a no-brainer, I was on board straight away and, roughly one week later, we have EatForIreland.
“It’s just one more little finger in a dyke that is already breached in many places but we sincerely hope it will have some impact because protecting Irish food is not just about serving up fancy treats at the weekend, this is also about protecting jobs and protecting our national food security right across the island, and to ensure we come through this with our superb food sector still able to deliver some of the very finest food to be found anywhere in the world.”