posted October 07th, 2010 by Dan F.
A few people seem concerned about the motivations of those running the site. I thought I might take a moment to explain who I am, where this site came from, and what my goals are for the site.
My name is Dan and I am a 30something guy living in New York City. I have been vegan for about 8 years now. I have been a computer programmer for about 12 years since I graduated from music school in Boston. Go figure. I made this site pretty much by myself and I am the only one who has anything to do with running it.
I like to travel a lot and early on in my traveling career, before Google Maps ever existed, I was having trouble tracking down the nearest vegetarian or vegan restaurant to wherever I happened to be, since all I had to go on was a list of addresses in a city which I invariably did not know that well. This meant sitting down with a real, paper map and finding each address, then deciding which one was closest to me. This felt like something I should not have to spend time doing, so I wrote a little program which would figure out the closest restaurant for me. Back then, I did this by writing something which took each address of a vegetarian restaurant and putting it into Yahoo's driving directions site (which did exist) and then figuring out the distance between my current location and each restaurant. Not efficient, but it actually worked. I had vegan French toast in Chicago that day!
The next piece of the puzzle was not long after when my nocturnal schedule made me add a few features to my burgeoning little program to tell me what restaurant were open really late near my house. This information was also surprisingly hard to find. Sure you can look through a list and check the hours individually, but shouldn't I be able to instead just search for Open restaurants near my house? Yes. Yes I should.
So I added these features and before you know it, I decided I could make this into something much bigger and more useful not only to me, but hopefully to you as well. I have taken over 2000 pictures of food in vegetarian restaurants myself now around the world, in New York, Taipei, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, San Francisco, and many other cities around the world.
My goal in creating this site is to make it easier for vegetarians and vegans to find great meals wherever they happen to be in the world. All the content that is contributed by anyone will always remain freely available to everyone. All personal information is completely private and will never be given away or shared or even used by me, it's just so you can login and logout of the site. If you login, you'll see that you have some cool abilities to create lists of restaurants you want to try or keep track of your favorites, and of course to write comments and reviews of restaurants and pictures. Now that you can login with Facebook, you don't even have to create an account or anything, just one click and you're in!
I hope this assuages some of the concerns I've heard from people and that you'll give things a try and find the site as useful as I do. I would love to hear your ideas and feedback and I'm open to implementing any features that people think would be useful and make the site better.
Thanks for visiting!