Restaurant accessibility: Digital menu for dining customers with disabilities and special needs

Last updated:   August 26, 2022

Digital menu is a modern innovation that restaurant businesses use to provide hassle-free menu browsing. Some digital menu allows customers to place their orders and pay using the digital restaurant table menu.

Wakefield Research poll conducted in December 2020 revealed 88 percent of restaurants said they would consider switching to digital menus.

Seventy-eight percent out of the 500 surveyed restaurants said that there are significant benefits to digital menus. That is according to Square’s The Future of Restaurants Report: 2022 Edition

One purpose of a digital menu for restaurants is to provide a safe and convenient dine-in ordering system. This promotes inclusive and accessible restaurant ordering for customers with disabilities and special needs.

In 1990, a civil rights law called Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets basic standards for accessibility in public spaces. However, there is no government agency or third-party agency that monitors or enacts this law.

As a result, restaurants are still lenient with their hospitality management towards people with disabilities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sixty-one million adults in the United States live with a disability. With this, persons with disabilities are the largest minority group in the US. 

Restaurants should highlight accessible and inclusive services for persons with disabilities. Customers, regardless of their capabilities, should have the same equal access to restaurant hospitality.

Using a digital restaurant table menu can make the dining experience of customers with disabilities and impairments more manageable, enjoyable, and hassle-free.

What is a Digital Menu for Restaurants?

A digital menu for restaurant is an electronic version or a soft copy of a restaurant’s menu. Menu QR code usually holds the digital menu.waiter serving salad table tent menu qr codeRestaurant tables and other dining areas usually have menu QR code. Dining restaurant customers can scan the printed sticker or table tent menu QR code through their phone’s QR code scanner or QR code scanner app.

Some digital menus are interactive digital menus. Interactive digital menus are menus that allow customers to directly order and pay through the restaurant’s digital menu.

How can persons with disabilities and special needs benefit from digital menu QR code?

Access for customers with eyesight condition

Experts use the term “visual impairment” to describe any type of vision loss, whether someone can’t see at all or has partial vision loss.

A non-profit organization called Braille House is dedicated to tactile literacy for individuals who are blind or have low vision. They have created a tactile support system to assist with the usage of the QR code contact tracing system.blind person braille qr code The QR Code tactile indicator works by placing a braille sticker over the QR Code that reads “please scan the QR code below”. It has a tactile square to show where the QR Code is.

This allows those who are blind or have low eyesight to complete the contact tracing sign-in procedure independently.

Additionally, android smartphones have TalkBack mode, while apple devices have Voiceover. These are made to assist people with low vision or blindness on screen-reading their devices.

The VIP Code Reader app can scan QR codes instead of a smartphone camera or other app. This app makes a sound as the user moves their smartphone closer to the QR code position.

After successfully scanning the QR code, customers can use voice-based mobile apps like Voice Dream Reader. This app allows blind or visually challenged customers to read anything with text on their devices such as websites, books, local files, etc.

Combining all these innovational apps can make a blind or visually challenged customer’s experience more manageable as well as hygienic. 

In-app direct ordering for customers who are hard of hearing and customers with speaking condition

Hearing loss affects roughly 15% of adults in the United States, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, with the majority of hearing loss happening between the ages of 60 and 69.

Restaurant diners with hearing and speaking disability rely on lip-reading, hearing technology, or sign language. They mostly order by pointing at the menu or writing their own orders.mozzarella sticks table digital menu QR code table tent Customers' invisible disabilities such as difficulties in hearing and speaking are usually overlooked.

Oftentimes, an unknowing waiter will approach a customer with a hearing and speaking disability which sometimes leads to misunderstanding and embarrassing situations.

With a digital menu, there is no need for the customers to approach and interact with the waiters. They can just easily scan the menu QR code, browse, place their orders, pay, and wait for their orders.

Item details and description for customers with special needs, diet, and restrictions 

Restaurants should also consider people with specific diet requirements and restrictions.menu tiger item details description customer special need diet restriction

Unlike to traditional handheld menus where the menu item description is little to none, in an interactive digital menu, there is a specific food description including ingredient warnings. 

This way, customers will know if a certain dish contains allergens or ingredients which they shouldn’t consume. 


MENU TIGER: The best interactive restaurant menu QR code software

Here are some of the features of MENU TIGER–the best interactive restaurant menu QR code software.

User-friendly 

Restaurant staff can easily learn how to use the software and restaurant dashboard since it is generally simple and easy to navigate.egg chicken fillet table tent menu qr code

It allows non-tech-savvy restaurant owners to create a website and digital menu for their restaurants without the need for a web developer.

It is not only convenient but also affordable since restaurant owners can cut the budget from hiring a web developer.

Mobile-optimized menu

woman with phone scanning table tent menu qr codeSince restaurant customers mostly use their smartphone’s QR code scanner t

Real-time updated menu items

Updating the menu is one problem with the traditional handheld menu.

In a digital menu, however, you can add a different set of menus for different occasions and seasons. You can also update your restaurant’s digital menu according to the availability of the items and supplies in your kitchen.

Changes will reflect on the digital menu directly real-time.digital menu phone

It saves time for waiters to go back to the kitchen check the availability of food items in the pantry. 

Additionally, the MENU TIGER has a customization feature for your digital menu QR code.

You can add your logo, change the pattern and eyes, customize the color palette according to your brand, and add a call-to-action statement.

Quicker table turnover

One factor that contributes to a low sales is a slow table turnover.

Potential customers will be turned off with a full restaurant with a slow table turnover, because customers have to wait for waiters to be done getting orders from another table.woman salad coffee table tent menu qr codeWith a digital menu, customer can order and pay directly through their phones.

Waiting for waiters is lessened significantly. The customers will now only wait for their food, while maybe having a chat with their friend. 

After placing, customers’ orders will be reflected and monitored to the main server dashboard. This can make the main server loaded.

However, MENU TIGER's software advantage is it allows the main server user to redirect the access to assigned staff to monitor and fulfill the customer’s orders, loosening the workload of the main server user.

Direct interactive menu ordering, along with quicker prep and serving time, can foster quicker table turnover resulting to more satisfied customers.

Build and customize your website

MENU TIGER allows restaurants to build and customize their own website that reflects their branding identity to expand its marketing strategy through digital space which builds an online presence for your restaurant.menu tiger general settingsGeneral settings show the front page of your website. It contains the restaurant name and contact details.

The Hero section contains the heading and introduction for your restaurant. While, the About section, is a brief insight for your restaurant.

Both the Hero and About sections can be set to any language you prefer.

You can also set promotions for different seasons and occasions. On the other hand, the most popular food section will automatically select the best-selling item in your menu according to sales.

Customize your digital menu QR code

customize qr code digital menu in menu tiger

Contactless transaction

The CDC mandated the usage of single-use menus for restaurants to avoid cross-contamination of Covid-19.couple eat burger beer table tent menu qr codeThe MENU TIGER end-to-end software solution provider helps you create a digital menu for your restaurant so your customers can conveniently order and pay through the interactive digital menu and promote contactless transactions.

Restaurant customers can directly order through their mobile phones and, depending on their choice to pay through mobile payments or pay cash, it can also promote a cashless transaction.

Having a contactless transaction in this time of pandemic is very crucial.

Using a digital menu can lessen the contact not only between customers and restaurant staffs but also between the customers and handheld menus and money. The two dirtiest places for bacteria.

Maximize staff productivity

Waiters will no longer have to juggle between handing menus, getting orders, serving food and drinks, getting the bill, and collecting payment.waiters setting table menu qr code table tentWith a digital menu, the remaining job for waiters are greeting customers, delivering food and drinks, and probably getting the payment for customers who wish to pay in cash. 

This will maximize their time, saves their energy, and lessen the room for human error.

How to create an interactive restaurant menu: Easy steps to follow

Follow these steps and create your own interactive restaurant menu using MENU TIGER.

1. Sign up and create an account heremenu tiger set up account

2. Go to Stores section and set up your store name/smenu tiger add storesmenu tiger customize menu qr codemenu tiger add users and admins

menu tiger setup online menu

6. Go to Modifiers subsection and proceed adding the modifier groups for the menu categories or the food item list

menu tiger online menu add modifiers

menu tiger general settings restaurant website

8. Track and fulfill orders

menu tiger food order track order details


Promoting inclusivity to your restaurant with digital menu card powered by QR codes

Genuine hospitality needs compassion, which requires awareness. Most restaurant staff are untrained to accommodate customers with special needs and disabilities.

This can sometimes result in disabled customers being ignored or awkward interaction between guests and customers.

Restaurants are supposed to be a place for hospitality. They have a rare opportunity and responsibility to promote accessible services for their disabled guests.

However, restaurants sometimes overlook this large minority group in their marketing approaches.

Society is more aware than ever before. The move for inclusivity by allowing accessible places for persons with disabilities and special needs is bigger especially in this digital age.

Discriminating people according to their disabilities and differences is already a thing in the past, a lesson we had to learn to get where we are today.

Majority of the restaurants have physical structure and services that are not accessible to people with disabilities.

This could be fixed through physical renovation or hospitality training to accommodate persons with disabilities and special needs.

However, if these are not possible at the moment, a simple tweak in the restaurant service system can be done. For example, replacing handheld menus with digital menu.

Digital menu does not only ensure safe and hygienic transactions but also accessible restaurant dining experience for people with disability which will encourage to dine again at your restaurant and maybe promote them to their friends. 

Want to make your restaurant more accessible? Create your own digital with MENU TIGER now!