Hungry consumers have a new tool to match their mood with an Iowa restaurant. The Iowa Restaurant Association (IRA) has launched the “Dine Iowa” website and smart phone application.
IRA president and C.E.O. Jessica Dunker says the website and free phone app allow people to search for restaurants statewide and narrow their search options.
“For example, there are 23 amenities that you can search for – so you can look for a restaurant that is gluton-free, or has a children’s play area, or a restaurant that has a patio or drive through,” Dunker said. Consumers can also search for restaurants by location and cuisine type.
Dunker is hoping people who do a lot of traveling in the state will download the Dine Iowa app on their phone. “The purpose is to help people move, potentially, a mile or two in from some of the major highways so they are exploring and experiencing some of Iowa’s more independent restaurants versus something that might be right off the interstate,” Dunker said.
The locator currently contains information on roughly 400 Iowa restaurants. Only restaurants that pay dues to join the Iowa Restaurant Association are part of the program. Dunker notes each restaurant owner controls their menu and other information about their establishment.
“Each member restaurant can go put a special up and have it uploaded to the app,” Dunker explained. “So, you could potentially be seeing what the weekend special is that the restaurant has put on the app as you’re driving across the state.”
Currently, the free Dine Iowa app is available for iPhone and Android. Dunker says it’ll likely be expanded soon to cover other cell phones.