Dine startup working to save time, money one meal at a time

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Utah-based startup Dine is working to simplify meal plans and diets by partnering with local supermarkets to offer easy and healthy recipe options. 

BYU students Issac Corcoran, Brandon Southwick, Adara Park and April Gantz created Dine, a meal-planning app that notifies consumers of new recipes, with the goal of promoting healthier eating habits as well as saving time and money.

BYU students connect through the Sandbox program. Issac Corcoran, Brandon Southwick, Adara Park and April Gantz saw the possible solutions to their problems first-hand, inspiring the startup’s creation. (Courtesy of Issac Corcoran)

Corcoran is Dine’s product manager, Southwick and Park are the software engineers and Gantz serves as the brand designer.

According to Southwick, the two-semester Sandbox program helps sustain and support the ideas of people like the Dine team members who want to be entrepreneurs. This program also offers them the opportunity to do their projects as coursework so they can treat it as a full-time job.

Southwick said getting three meals on the table is no small task, and the time required to shop, plan and view recipes has felt short in supply.

“I’m married with a kid. Grocery shopping and meal planning has been a pain for us,” he said.

In addition to the problem of time consumption, he said it is difficult to research and find healthy meals. Thus, Dine has a goal to make healthy eating easy with an emphasis on stress-free shopping and expert-curated meal plans, according to Southwick.

Park said the Dine team’s next step is to work with influencers. The Dine website wants to have popular meal plans created by influencers from diverse cultures.

“Users can come to select which influencer’s meal plans they like, add to their cart, and purchase it,” Park said. “We’re hoping to have users be able to use it every week at low cost.”

Gantz explained the users can sign up to be on the email list and then browse the app for complete weekly meal plans provided by influencers with “curated pictures, directions, ingredients.”

The Dine team is currently building this web page. It will be released later this week. (Courtesy of Issac Corcoran)

Corcoran, a BYU information system student from Australia, reflected on the challenges the team has encountered so far. He said one of the biggest challenges is finding the right problem with the right team. His teammate Southwick also mentioned the team had several ideas before ending up with a meal-planning app.

Corcoran talks about connecting personal experiences with issues that need solutions. He said their idea for the startup was born out of a need to solve their own problems and others. (Bella Li)

Corcoran came up with the name “Dine.” He said it is exciting for the team to have opportunities to bring international cuisines to the U.S. 

“We’re looking for more people to test this out and to challenge us to make this even better,” he said. “It’s been interesting to see we’ve got some global awareness as we reach out to influencers. Some of them come from different countries.” 

As one of the first customers of Dine, Ezra Frost said he would recommend it to others because “it’s a much cheaper option” compared to the previous app he used.

Dine is currently partnering with supermarkets such as Smith’s and Kroger, Corcoran said.

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