Nima is ushering in a whole new era of the dining experience by allowing diners to obtain scientific data about the food they are ordering. Food allergies and restrictions have long been a point of contention between restaurant staff and diners. Diners still find themselves getting sick after dining out, even after requesting special accommodations for allergies/intolerances. Restaurant staff and chefs have trouble deciphering between life-threatening allergies or lifestyle choices when customers are making requests. The whole dining experience can be exhausting and stressful for both parties.
Now, if you throw in a device that performs a chemistry experiment at the dinner table, the situation could get murkier.
The purpose of Nima is not to perform investigative food testing on restaurants or catch kitchens making mistakes. We actually hope all the tests come back below 20 ppm of gluten! However, Nima is also not a substitute for the typical due diligence a diner would take when researching, ordering and communicating to the restaurant staff about any special dietary requests. Being open with restaurant staff is still the best way to ensure meals can be accommodated.
We created Nima to provide extra information about a meal to help users make healthier decisions for themselves, no matter the reason why they are avoiding certain foods. Ultimately, cross-contamination is a complex and tricky thing to avoid (we’re talking about parts per million of food), and neither diners nor restaurant staff should be offended if a test result is positive for gluten (or in the future any allergen for which Nima will test).
We’ve compiled a few basic dos and don’ts for Nima users and restaurant staff to better understand how to work and dine together as we explore this new food technology territory together.