Restaurant At Hill Air Force Base

Dr. Fry’s CS 4750 class has created a valuable and uniquely designed system that specifically targets fast food workers with autism and/or Asperger syndrome. The innovative technology developed consists of a customizable touch screen Point of Sale (POS) terminal interface, and a tablet based order queuing system.  Prior to this software solution being developed for Runway Ruby’s Restaurant at Hill AFB, Utah, its ten workers, with varying degrees of autism, were frequently getting food orders incorrect and often experiencing unnecessary anxiety in their daily activities. This resulted in more food waste, higher worker stress levels, and lower customer service ratings.

The software engineering class accepted the challenge to design and develop a solution to specifically target these unique workers, and to make it customizable to work with a variety of disabilities. The resulting software solution, branded EQUIP (Engineered Queuing User Interface Point of Sale) addresses the autistic person’s experience with over-or under sensitivity to sound, touch, light and color. The software is also fully scalable to accommodate future customizations for deaf and blind workers via audio and tactile response interface templates. 

The solution delivered to Runway Ruby’s was a custom 10” Android based tablet interface which communicates incoming orders in real time, in an easy to understand visual experience that appeals to the autistic worker. As a result, orders are now received and processed in a prompt and efficient manner, with a substantial reduction in worker anxiety and food waste. In additional, customer service has improved in that completed order information is now transmitted to a runner station for final verification before an order is delivered to the table. Most importantly, however, the workers now feel more confident in their ability to work in a hectic and often demanding environment.

Written by Rich Fry