Two consumers have filed a putative class action against Panera LLC
involving the restaurant chain’s “2.0” ordering system using touchscreen
kiosks and a “fast lane” pick-up shelf, which they allege fails to accommodate
the visually impaired. Gomez v. Panera LLC, No. 16-21421 (S.D.
Fla., filed April 20, 2016). The plaintiffs argue that they each visited a
Florida location of Panera and found themselves “unable to enjoy the
same ordering and dining experience as sighted patrons” because they
were “denied the ability to independently select and purchase lunch.” The
kiosks “were not designed and programmed to interface with commercially
available screen reader software and further were not equipped
with auxiliary aids (such as an audio interface system) for disabled
individuals who are visually impaired,” the complaint alleges. The
plaintiffs further argue that Panera’s website is unusable to them because
it does not integrate with their screen reader programs. They seek orders
requiring Panera to update its website to accommodate the visually
impaired and an order directing Panera “to evaluate its policies, practices
and procedures toward persons with disabilities.”


Issue 602

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.