Culver's restaurants offer accessible drive-thrus

August 1, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Drive-thrus are designed to make your life easier when ordering from a fast food restaurant. Why not make this possible for everyone regardless of their challenges?

Culver's in Orlando Park recently installed their drive-thru with OrderAssist.

"What happens when a customer right now comes in, they see the signs that tells them to review the menu, ring the bell and then pull forward. Fairly simple. One, two, three," said Patrick Hughes, founder of Inclusion Solutions. "The order can then be processed with a clipboard, a pen and paper with to-go menu."

OrderAssist is one of Inclusion Solutions' products for people with disabilities.

"OrderAssist was developed back in 2004 after we studied the industry a little bit and surveyed the deaf and hard of hearing community about how drive-thrus work for them, and we found out that there's a big frustration within the deaf community and they wanted somebody to solve it," Hughes said.

Culver's is the only fast food service that has this.

"We have about 50 systems in at Culvers," said Jack Rush. "We just added eight more this week and Culver's has been a leader on this issue."

Rush and Justin O'Brien own five Culver's. They have the OrderAssist in four of them.

"It's easy to train the staff because it's so easy to use. You just hand them a menu and they fill it out. They give it back to us, we type in the order, we bring them out their food," said Rush. "It works out great. I'd like to see more people use it, so I'm glad you are here, but the operation is really simple, easy for anybody to use, no problem."

Customer Jim and Julie Ann Chavez are grateful for this.

"I wish other chains other fast food restaurants would have the same service," said Julie Ann Chavez.

Cecilia Pointer is testing the system for the first time.

"It was a little bit helpful because of the machines they have. Without the machines you can't really order because I am hard of hearing, so this really helps," said Pointer.

"I think one of the important things is that people who are not deaf or hard of hearing notice this and say, 'Ah, Culver's is the kind of company that cares about all their customers,' " said Hughes.

If you want more information about OrderAssist and a list of Culver's that have OrderAssist go to our website, scroll down to the yellow "OrderAssist" box on the lower right hand side, and click for more information, videos and how to order an OrderAssist operator.

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