A San Francisco-based food company proud of its tech-savvy features was recently slapped with a federal class action lawsuit for failing to provide adequate services to customers with visual impairments, according to a report.
Eatsa, which features an automated, human-free system that allows customers to select their quinoa dish of choice on their smartphones or in-store iPads before delivering the plate through a cubbyhole, violated a civil rights law with its inaccessible ordering function and serving feature, according to Recode.
The lawsuit, which was filed in New York, indicated that Eatsa did not adequately use technology features already available, such as dictating technology, to assist customers with vision problems, Recode reported. Eatsa also does not allow customers to insert headphones into the audio jack of the iPads it uses as ordering kiosks or utilize any audible features for the food delivery process, the lawsuit claimed.
Eatsa locations do staff actual humans in the event that a customer requires assistance, but the lawsuit aruged that one of the ways in which a customer can request assistance comes with a feature only available on the ordering platform. That feature is inaccessible to customers with visual issues, the lawsuit stated.
Eatsa responded to the lawsuit and said that it was "surprised," according to Recode.
"We are surprised by this action by DRA," Eatsa said in a statement. "We are strong supporters of the rights of the visually impaired and have served many visually impaired customers since we opened our first Eatsa in 2015. In fact, every Eatsa location is staffed with Hosts that provide personalized ordering and pickup assistance to visually impaired customers, should they desire additional assistance, and all of our technology is designed to be compatible with the appropriate assistance features. We regret that the DRA did not spend time with Eatsa's staff before taking legal action and hope to bring them satisfaction through a more detailed demonstration and understanding of our service. We truly think there is some error in their understanding of the Eatsa technology and service and look forward to working through this amicably so we can continue providing a great service to all of our customers."