A restaurant in a popular tourist area of Lisbon solved several issues by creating a visual menu. Instead of listing items in Portuguese or even several languages, the menu consists of all pictures.

The visual menu allows people to point to the items they want without any language barriers. It saves the wait staff time that would be lost trying to figure out what people were ordering, and I’d guess that it cuts down on incorrect orders as well. The menu was displayed in the window, enticing tourists who knew that they would have a smooth way to order.

It reminded me of the frequently-used example of how curb-cuts for wheelchairs also benefit others — people with bikes, strollers, wagons, etc. The curbs may have been ramped because of the Americans with Disabilities Act but the accessibility serves other purposes. The same is true of the visual menu — it was designed for tourists and obviously benefits them, but it also makes life easier for parents helping kids order and aids everyone who works at the restaurant.

What is something you can change to make life easier for someone? Making something easier for one is likely to enhance things for many.

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