Allergy Case Study

Allergy Case Study

Challenge - Improving the communication between customers and staff when dining out to facilitate security

My Role - Product lead, Affinization, 3d modelling, Animation

Team Members - Four

Project Time - Fall 2021


Target Audience

Children and young adults with allergies, intolerance, or dietary restrictions

Target Place

Mid size restaurants establishments in the US


20 Interviews
10 Restaurant Staff
10 Dietary Restrictions


  • Round 1- Grouping data points
  • Round 2- Identifying the common factors
  • Round 3- Creating meaningful insights
  • Round 4- Create How Might

  • Lack of communication between staff and customers
  • Limited accommodations
  • No allergy training in restaurants
  • Hard time planning where to eat.
  • Extra attention is required
  • Human errors occur due to lack of communication


  • Create a system that allows for customers to effectively and quickly plan social outings without hindering their social life?
  • Create a system that lessens the possibility of human error off waitstaff, increases communication flow, and facilitates a feeling of security for customers?
  • Design a system that allows for clear understanding of food options for customers and more fluid communication between staff when handling dietary restrictions?



To increase communication in restaurants to create a more transparent experience for people with dietary restrictions


Developing allergy: a system that allows for users to take control and have all of their allergies and food intolerance in one portable location. This system would reduce the amount of errors in communication of individual dietary restrictions, while allowing users to feel a sense of security dining out.


Concept 1 – APP/account

  • Personal menu
  • Cuts out the middle man
  • Communicate with chef
  • New POS
  • Training for staff

Concept 2 – POS checker

  • Regular order experience
  • Wait staff checks boxes
  • Chef sees color coded allergies


  • User Creates account adding any restrictions
  • Digital card that taps to the POS and sends allergy list to chef
  • Chef has a screen to see allergy lists/needs


  • Filtered menu: To help user plan
  • Chef gets allergy list: Don't have to rely on the waitress
  • Card/ID numbers: For increased communication and reduce human error
  • Chef chat: Chef can start a chat with the customer
  • Safe scoring: Customers rate the restaurants on how safe they felt



  • The bubbles were confusing
  • Navigation was hard
  • Wanted more utilities
  • The chef needs a simpler interaction


  • Provide PRE planning help and safety information
  • Increase safety and security for the customers with restrictions
  • Increase communication between customers and staff



We asked participants to cluster labels (cards) for existing content into their own categories and then label those categories.

  • Restaurants
  • Allergy
  • Card
  • Account
  • People created groups based on the words used.
  • People like having personalized accounts and the word “my”
  • Some features were difficult to understand
  • Chat with chef
  • See notifications
  • Allergy Severity



These solutions do not prioritize the comfort of not just wheel chair users but even majority users.

  • Colors are too intense
  • Menu is hard to read
  • Looks child like
  • Add a search bar
  • Images would be nice
  • Better cards for restaurants
  • Navigation is tricky
  • Button titles are very long
  • Make it more personal
  • Add a rating system
  • Different words for the label