Kafoodle: creating healthy ageing through its meal matching service

A software solution designed for restaurants has transformed the dining experiences of the healthcare sector, making mealtimes more positive for staff and people receiving care. Kafoodle reduces mealtime preparation by up to 45 minutes so that carers can spend more time with those they look after. Meanwhile, patients are able to enjoy food that’s nutritious, delicious, and tailored to their dietary needs. 

In 2014, new allergen legislation led CEO Tarryn Gorre to imagine an application that lets chefs record allergens and see the specific needs of diners, while allowing diners to see the menu and filter it to their preferences. Kafoodle was launched two years later, providing an end-to-end solution to problems around correct allergen information. 

Kafoodle application on two tablet devices, showing recipe information and a personalised meal order.

Though Kafoodle was designed for the hospitality industry, it was when one of Tarryn’s relatives started spending increasing time in health and social care that she realised Kafoodle’s full potential. 

Nutrition is a critical part of treatment for people in care, but Tarryn says, “it became really clear  that there wasn't a framework that the hospital followed when it came to food - or the care home, or my family members.”

Kafoodle’s user-friendly software means that everybody involved in the mealtime journey from the chefs to the diner can now easily access and adjust the information as needed, creating an unprecedented level of food safety while simplifying the process and building trust.

Tarryn knows just how busy a kitchen can be, and how easy it is for diners to, “underestimate how difficult it is for a chef in a care home with 60 residents to make sure each individual's needs are met”. 

“We've seen the impact on the confidence Kafoodle gives carers to do their jobs better, without worrying about hurting someone”, Tarryn says, “if a resident has diabetes, their carer can use the software to auto-filter the menu, matching them to a meal that is safe to eat”.

Infographic of nutritional information label. E.g. amounts of fat, fibre and salt in an unspecified product.

COVID-19 has presented many social challenges, including isolation from loved ones in care. While she can’t see her father face to face, Tarryn has been using Kafoodle to create stability and comfort for him through his favourite meals. 

In 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care reported that “the state of online services, basic IT and clinical tools in health and care” was “far behind” where it needed to be. COVID-19 has quickly forced a “huge uptake in digital solutions in the care sector”, much like many workplaces across the world. Tarryn says: “it’s as if the sector has suddenly catapulted five years into the future.”

Described as “the safest way to get food to people shielding in residential villages”, 93 care homes have joined Kafoodle since COVID-19 has come into effect. As the pandemic puts more pressure on care staff time, digitising the standard pen-and-paper system has helped them reclaim precious minutes throughout the day.

Tarryn saw Kafoodle’s potential in the healthy ageing sector and applied for UnLtd’s social business accelerator programme, Thrive, in 2019. The intensive six-month programme offers a tailored support package, with the “opportunity for exposure to real experts in the healthcare field” a key factor for Tarryn.

“It was the right place to be growing the company,” says Tarryn, who maximised “all of the support available - from “phenomenal pro-bono legal advice”, to an “incredible executive coach” - all designed to help participants reach a place where they can scale their venture and impact.

On Thrive, “Tarryn developed a really clear theory of change, as well as a data collection plan. With these, Tarryn will be able to show the healthcare sector the positive difference that Kafoodle is making to the lives of both staff and patients alike” explains Support Manager Sam Alford, who worked closely with them on the programme.

Driven by the insights and learning unlocked by Thrive, Tarryn is looking forward to building Kafoodle and positively transforming even more mealtimes across the world; “The last year has been a  whirlwind, so it will be really exciting to have a stable growth period, ensuring we are best-in-class and following through on our work”.

Are you a social entrepreneur ready to scale? Find out more here about how you could benefit from Thrive.

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