ASU student-made app will change the way locals find new restaurants

The Munch Hunt app aims to work as a restaurant-finding tool for picky eaters and allergy-prone users alike

Many Americans have some kind of dietary restriction — in fact, there are approximately 32 million people in the U.S. with a food allergy of some kind, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. 

For groups of people wanting to dine-in, it can be difficult to find restaurants that will suit everyone’s needs, and three ASU students are hoping to fix that. These students are creating a restaurant-finding tool called Munch Hunt, which will address this dilemma by changing the way groups find new restaurants to try.

Aside from catering to those with dietary restrictions, the app also plans on helping users try new and different cuisines that they may not typically eat in their everyday lives. 

Currently, the Munch Hunt team is in the process of attaining more investors and plans on releasing a useable version of their app by the end of this summer.

Phillippe Adriane Inocencio, a sophomore studying computer systems engineering and the CEO and co-founder of Munch Hunt, said the app can be used by anyone, regardless of their food limitations.

“(If) you have this very diverse group of people that want to go out and eat and you need to find a restaurant that fits everyone's needs, (Munch Hunt) is supposed to help everyone, no matter what dietary restrictions you have," Inocencio said.

Users will be able to create groups in the app to better streamline the process of finding restaurants together that will work for every individual's dietary needs – whether that be vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or other restraints.

Kyle Gonzalez, a sophomore studying computer science and Munch Hunt's co-founder and developer, said helping those with dietary restrictions was a large inspiration in creating the app.

For Gonzalez, having to be cautious when it comes to finding new places to eat is nothing new because he has a peanut allergy and also has friends who have other dietary constraints. 

"We realized that a lot of people have trouble finding a restaurant that everyone finds satisfactory," Gonzalez said.

Inocencio said that Munch Hunt will also allow more restaurant diversity for its users. 

"We'll recommend restaurants based on the history of restaurants you've been to and your specific diet," he said. "We also account the fact that, let's say you've recently gone to a restaurant, we won't recommend it again because you already ate there. We'll have a time period for you to try something new the next time you go out."

Founders of Munch Hunt pose for a photo in Gilbert in 2018. From left to right: Phillippe Adriane Inocencio, Kyle Gonzalez and Jason Kwon. Photo taken by Munch Hunt.

Jason Kwon, a sophomore studying computer science and co-founder of Munch Hunt, said the app will not only take the type of restaurant into consideration when making recommendations, but it will also use specific information from restaurant menus to allow more options to become available to users with restrictions. 

"We try to find the best fit restaurant for encompassing everyone's diet," Kwon said.

Currently, the team is focusing on Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale for the app's geographical range. 

"If you have a car, the potential of trying out new places is endless," Inocencio said. "It's unfortunate when you go on an app and it only tells you of stuff nearby. You can find better places than what's around you."

Reach the reporter at or follow @victoriaahill99 on Twitter. 

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