By Vic Dolcourt
Triumph Dining, a Bay Area company and trusted name as a gluten-free travel resource for the past eight years, just released the 6th edition of its Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide in early December, as well as a new Triumph Dining smartphone application for those who prefer an electronic directory. Dave Morris, the general manager of Triumph Dining said, “We had a small army of college interns helping us check and double-check restaurant candidates for this year’s edition. They contacted each of the restaurant managers in our guide to verify that the restaurant is able to meet the special needs of the gluten free diner.”
Triumph Dining offers three major products: Triumph Dining Cards in ten languages are a staple for the gluten free traveler, the the Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide identifies products that are safe to use at home, and the Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide highlights U.S. restaurants in virtually every state that accommodate the gluten-free domestic traveler.
The company began in 2005 in Falls Church, Virginia. In 2011 Mr. Morris, owner of Danville-based New Year Publishing, became the company’s general manager. Mr. Morris is no stranger to what it takes to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle because one of his parents was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Mr. Morris’s direct knowledge, along with information flow from participants who contact Triumph Dining, formed the basis of the questionnaire that Mr. Morris’s surveyors use when they contact restaurant managers.
“We cast a wide net,” said Mr. Morris. “Our travel-oriented customers expect restaurants in all 50 states. The Restaurant Guide covers large chain restaurants, smaller area and regional chains, and free-standing independent restaurants with fewer than five locations. In this 6th edition update we gave extra attention to include specialty and ethnic restaurants to create added interest. ” The guide is built on a database of more than 20,000 dining locations, many of them from large chains. Of the 8,500 restaurants in the 6th edition–up from 6,500 in the 5th edition–6,000 restaurants are non-chain locations. A number of the restaurants have been suggested by the Triumph Dining user community.
Triumph Dining offers both paper-based directories and directories as eBooks meeting both the Kindle (Amazon) and the ePub (Nook ) formats. However, Triumph Dining also has a new unified application for iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Android which the subscriber can download through the respective App Store. The unified app offers access to both the current edition of the Grocery Guide and the 6th Edition of the Restaurant Guide.
Rather than being a cloud-based internet application, the new smartphone/tablet app is based on data that is downloaded into the subscriber’s device. This eliminates the necessity for an always-on network connection. The subscriber receives notification whenever the information is updated, and only the information that changes is updated. This feature makes the update process complete quickly.
“The smartphone app is new to us, and it will let us experiment a bit to find the optimal update interval for our restaurant and grocery guides. While our paper-based and eBook publications are updated approximately every 18 months, revisions to the app-based version will occur much more often,” said Mr. Morris. “We are constantly searching for ways to make our guides timely and even more useful.”
Vic Dolcourt Vic is a regular contributor and marketing volunteer for the Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California, a co-leader of the South Bay celiac support group, and co-moderator of the Celiac Bay Area Yahoo Group