QSR’s Interactive Automat Runs Into Trouble With People Who Can’t See Touchscreens

The fast food company that revived the old idea of diners that operated like giant vending machines has run into trouble with a disability rights advocacy group that argues Eatsa’s self-service interactive screen set-up makes it very difficult for visually impaired people to order food.

A federal lawsuit seeking class-action status has been filed against San Francisco fast-food chain Eatsa, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The chain specializes in quinoa bowls that are ordered by touch-screen kiosks or smartphone apps, and show up in glass cubbies assigned to the customer.

The complaint says “Eatsa has ignored the needs of thousands of potential blind customers” because the system relies on visual-only displays that have no audio or tactile feedback elements.

Eatsa in a prepared response says every location has hosts who provide personalized ordering and pickup assistance to visually impaired customers.

Good reminder that wow factor projects like this have to also factor in people who can’t appreciate the wow part, and just want to order food.

Hat tip to Jeff Dumo of Array Interactive for flagging this story.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


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