The strange looking squares that have recently been appearing everywhere from ketchup bottles to presidential campaign buses now have a new role in the field of food allergies. Aurora, Colorado based Gipsee, Inc., in cooperation with the Denver-based restaurant chain, MADgreens, have introduced an innovative way of utilizing QR code technology to make it easier for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions to eat at all Colorado MADgreens locations.
Here is how it works: Customers with food allergies and/or dietary preferences (such as vegans and vegetarians), simply scan strategically placed QR codes at MADgreens locations using their smart-phones. The scan takes the customer directly to a menu screen asking the customer to select foods or ingredients they wish to avoid in their meals. Given the customer’s unique combinations of food restrictions, the smart-phone instantly displays menu items from the MADgreens menu that are safe for consumption. The list of undesired ingredients is not limited to the commonly designated eight or nine major allergy groupings; rather, there are hundreds of ingredient choices allowing for any user to select ingredient combinations that are as unique as they are.
“The practical part of utilizing QR codes in this mode is that customers have access to relevant information in the palm of their hands, at the time of ordering,” says Atul Ahuja, one of the co-founders of Gipsee. “Most restaurants that present food allergy or ingredient information, do so on their websites, which are inaccessible to a customer when he/she is in the restaurant, is hungry and, in the case of QSR establishments, is typically short on time”, adds Ahuja. “With the QR codes, there is no need to download any apps, and any customer with any smart-phone can instantly view safe menu choices, order agreeable meals and get going with their busy schedules.”
MADgreens has the QR code display labels placed at the entrance of each location as well as inside the restaurant for reliable visibility and accessibility.
“Gipsee is merely leveraging its already developed food allergy analysis technology to allow customers with food allergies and dietary restrictions to eat more freely at restaurants,” says Dilip Chopra, Gipsee’s other co-founder, “there are about 25 million people in the US alone, including vegetarians, vegans, or those with food allergies, who have to be very particular about what they eat. Restaurants have a huge market that they can cater to, and the QR codes add a whole new dimension to providing relevant information where and when it is needed to help those who struggle with dining out, to make safe ordering decisions.”
Gipsee is the industry leader in providing technologies that help restaurants, K-12 schools and the hospitality industries to generate interactive, customized menus. Gipsee technologies have won awards and national recognition including being selected as the finalist in the Food Safety category by the National Restaurant Association for the 2012 Operator Innovations Award for Gipsee’s K-12 school Food Allergy Management system called AllerSchool. Recently, Gipsee was recognized in FastCasuals Magazine’s ” 2012 Top 100 Movers and Shakers” for the Restaurant industry, and “100 Biggest Stories of 2011” in the Restaurant Industry by QSR magazine.