A mum from Watford has launched a new website to help halal diners find restaurants that cater to their specific dietary needs.
Siddika Jaffer, 39, came up with the idea for her halal eatery directory when she living in Singapore studying for a master’s degree in innovation.
She discovered that one in two people across the world have special dietary requirements, and of them, halal is the most common.
“I am a halal diner myself and trying to find halal restaurants is really difficult,” said the mother of three.
“Around 80 per cent of people rely on word of mouth, Google searches or just walking the streets. I thought there had to be a better solution.”
After extensive research, the Halal Dining Club app was finally launched in August, allowing diners to browse 3,000 sit-down halal restaurants both in the UK and in Singapore.
This month she launched the accompanying Halal Dining Club website, which she says goes beyond being “just a directory” to allow users to book a table, write a review and collect loyalty points for repeated use, which are then used to support various charities.
“We’re trying to digitise that word of mouth and have one place where you can go to read reviews written by people who have the same dietary requirements as you; we’re trying to save people time,” she added.
The app and website will soon expand to include Hong Kong, with a further eight cities across America, Canada and Asia due to be added later this year.
Halal – literally meaning “permissible” in Arabic – covers food and drink acceptable according to Islamic law. To be considered halal, an animal must be slaughtered in a specific way.
There is a wide spectrum of halal tolerance, ranging from people who will only eat at restaurants which do not serve alcohol and display a halal sign, to those who will dine as long as one dish on the menu is halal.