If you were out to dinner with your family and a fellow patron complained of getting sick from their meal, you’d trust restaurant management to know exactly what to do to prevent others from becoming ill, right?
Wrong say the folks at Public Health Innovations. According to their research, most food retailers are woefully unprepared to handle such an emergency. The reason? A dangerous inability to quickly access the correct safety protocols.
Fortunately, as the saying goes, there’s now an app for that. ATL Tech Fam, say hello to EmergiProtect. But what exactly inspired the good folks at Public Health Innovations to create this app? Their Creative Director, Joshua King explains:
First, some basics. How’d you guys get the idea for EmergiProtect?
The idea for EmergiProtect was born out of necessity. There was an urgent and unmet need for restaurants to have immediate access to the proper procedures during food safety emergencies. Until EmergiProtect, there wasn’t an accurate go-to source on correct protocols for the retail food service industry.
We recognized the tremendous lack of information restaurants encountered when faced with common, but potentially serious situations, such as: what to do when the power goes out, how to safely handle unwell employees, or what course of action to take prevent others patrons from getting sick, after a customer has reported becoming ill.
This information void creates a dangerous situation where restaurants don’t know what to do, or the information they do find is so incredibly difficult to understand or implement, it’s too late by the time they finally do find the proper procedures.
The industry needed improvement, so Dr. Hal King of Public Health Innovations came up with the idea of a mobile app that give restaurants the ability to quickly and easily react to these situations.
What makes your app different from your competitors?
Our app is super easy to use and was designed to be simplistic while also containing a plethora of reference information. Instead of poring through documents of information, trying to read pages and pages of what steps to take in their particular situation, the user can whip out their mobile device, click through to their current issue, and quickly skim through the exact methods of dealing with whatever is happening in real time; all while interacting with a pleasing interface.
Most Restaurants Still Use Big “Packets” Of Printed Out Documents. It Almost Discourages Employees From Using Them And Instead To Just Do Their Best To React To The Situation.
What has the feedback been from the businesses using EmergiProtect?
We showed this app to over 10 food safety experts who lead food safety programs at the largest restaurant chains in the US, and they were blown away.
Like I said before, the app is designed to be super easy to use while also having a ton of info packed inside it. In the food safety industry, most mobile apps like this appear to be thrown together in a matter of days with little to no design-thought put in.
Most of the current restaurants use big “packets” of printed out documents with this type of info in it. It almost DISCOURAGES users to use these documents and instead just do their best to react to the situation.
What we continue to hear from customers is how easy it is to use and how nice the interface is compared to the usual mobile application in the food safety industry. We are taken aback by the positive reaction we’ve received from restaurant managers and we’re super excited to take their feedback and continue to improve EmergiProtect. One thing we have learned from customer use is that we can do a better job at pushing the most important and well known information up front. EmergiProtect is pretty thorough in it’s current state and, while it needs to be, we can also compile things that most restaurant managers already know into icon-driven interaction and even perhaps build this “smart” aspect into future apps. This would push them to get to the “meat” of what they need to know quicker, while also having broader information, that some restaurant managers don’t know, available upon their request. We’re excited to continue to make EmergiProtect the best emergency management mobile app for restaurants, designed with usability first.
What apps or designers are you inspired by right now?
I could discuss app design for days, but I’ll keep it as short as possible. There are three apps that quickly come to mind when I’m asked what is great app design. The first would be the Bear note taking app. There are no frills or distractions anywhere while using Bear. From the moment you first open the app, you only see a white screen with black text. The app completely gets out of your way while you’re using it and just lets you write. Whether you’re writing a blog (I’m writing this in Bear right now), making a list of movies you want to see, creating a professional letter, or even keeping track of a grocery list, Bear is so simple and easy to use it’s almost magical. On top of the ease of use and the sheer beauty of the app, it also syncs across your apple devices so you can always keep up with your writing, no matter where you are.
The second app that comes to mind would be Clarity Money. Clarity Money keeps track of your spending, let’s you know how you’ve been spending each week, keeps up with your current subscription services, and can even track your credit score. It keeps you inline and up-to-date all while containing a great user experience and a gorgeous interface.
Finally, the new all-in-one productivity monster: Notion. Notion lets me create agendas, to-do lists, project roadmaps, and so much more. I can jump into Notion and jot down notes from today’s meeting, create action items, throw them on my upcoming agenda, and keep track of what still needs doing. I can add files, color, screenshots, etc. and organize everything so effortlessly. And the best part? Organizing with emoji.
Notion is my go-to app for organization, while Bear is my go-to app for writing. Both are incredibly beautiful, simple, and a blast to use.
As with app inspiration, I can endlessly preach on the best designers in our industry. There are so many talented designers out there that it’s always fun finding new people with incredible skill. First, my favorite designer, Meg Lewis. Meg is an inspiration in more ways than one. Her work is so unique and creative that it helps breathe life into an industry that can always fall into easy “comfort zones”. She has her hands in a lot of stuff, from co-creating a firm (Ghostly Ferns) to launching a merch shop, developing card games, and even giving back to the industry. Her fun personality, her drive, and her creativity are things to look up to and are definitely something that make me appreciate the field I work in.
Another designer/illustrator I love is Nick Slater. Nick’s illustrations are the kinds that make you wish you were better at what you do. He’s great at mixing color with his art style to convey a message and get a point across. I absolutely love his style. Other inspiring humans to look at: Aaron Draplin, Meg Robichaud, Vic Bell, Laura Bee, and Julie Delanoy.
Ok, we gotta ask… what was the reason you chose to work with us?
Finding Tyrannosaurus Tech was a blessing for our company, Active Food Safety, as we were looking for a small developer team that could offer personal hands-on value, based in Atlanta, that could take EmergiProtect from a fleshed out idea into an actual product. What we found was so much more. A small group of people with great personalities, fantastic programming/design skills, and a solid work ethic.
So, like, not to make this awkward or anything, but would you recommend us to someone else?
Tyrannosaurus Tech blew us out of the water with their constant communication and their knowledge of the entire industry. Whether we wanted opinions on the direction we should take our app or even when we threw out ideas for possible implementation, TTech delivered beyond our expectations without blinking and gave us things we didn’t even know we needed without charging us extra. An additional plus is that now I’m really proficient at spelling Tyrannosaurus.
Lastly, where can folks find your app?
Also published on Medium.