Food allergies bring unique challenges to dining. While some can choose restaurants without a second thought, those with allergies must be steadfast advocates for their safety. In this independent study, I explore crafting a solution that warmly invites everyone with dietary needs and restrictions to the table.
With an estimated 32 million people in the US facing food allergies or related issues, the likelihood of encountering a food-related incident is significant, an issue expected to rise in prevalence with increasing diagnoses in both children and adults. Unfortunately, the restaurant industry often perceives individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions as outliers, resulting in a system ill-prepared to accommodate and respond to those at risk.
Proposing an inclusive solution, I aim to align consumer needs with restaurant efficiency and profit priorities. This involves leveraging A.I. and other technologies to prioritize individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions. Our strategy fosters seamless communication, ensures transparent food safety practices, and optimizes responses to diverse dietary needs, maximizing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- 32 million people have food allergies in the US (including 26 million adults and 6 million children)
- The total number of anaphylactic reactions increased by 377% from 2007 to 2016
25% of these happen in the restaurant sector
- 76% of restaurants don't have any allergen-specific documentation (i.e. menus listing ingredients)
- 65% of servers say they wouldn't know how to respond to a customer suffering an allergic reaction
- Allergy-related medical treatment cost healthcare $4.3 billion and an estimated $29.4 billion in 2013
- If restaurant reactions account for 25% of these incidents, we can extrapolate that to mean solving this issue in restaurants will correlate to saving roughly $1 billion directly and $7.4 billion indirectly
Restaurants often benefit by catering to people with allergies due to the “veto vote” theory which describes how groups tend to choose a restaurant by the group’s most restricted member meaning restaurants aren't only missing out on profits from people with dietary restrictions but their friends and family. as well. Not only that but 92% of guests with food allergies will return frequently to establishments where they have a positive experience.
definition. A culinary process in which ingredients are prepared and organized (as in a restaurant kitchen) before cooking
significance. The proposed intervention aptly embodies the essence of "mise en place." Just as in a well-organized kitchen where everything is in its place before cooking starts, our solution involves crucial preparations before the user even steps foot in the restaurant.
Fourth's software offers comprehensive support to the restaurant and hospitality sectors. Key features include dynamic menus that can be adjusted in real time, showcasing available dishes and providing essential allergen data. The platform also incorporates robust back-of-house training modules, serving as a crucial component for staff training. Positioned as an ideal foundation, this enterprise product is integral to our solution.
For the app to properly function, the user must first enter all relevant information. This allows the app to recommend restaurants that would best serve the user.
By creating an event and adding people to it, the user is allowing A.I. to take the entire group's dietary needs and preferences and synthesize them into a profile which it then compares to restaurants. It will prioritize the individual with the greatest restrictions.
While the user peruses restaurants, the menus will reflect available items that the user can eat or drink. Everything else will be collapsed and hidden to allow for faster and easier legibility.