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A Close Look at the Compact Mart Cart

In so many settings, it's not practical or profitable to only sell food and beverages in one stationary spot. With a bit of creativity and the right tools in place, there's no need to limit service to one particular area, though. This blog will focus on one of those tools, the Lakeside Mart Cart, and we'll introduce you to the power of the Mart Cart, whether you're setting up a profitable breakfast cart or taking advantage of outdoor dining trends.

The Benefits of the Lakeside Mart Cart

It comes in two convenient sizes. 

The smaller mart cart size, which is a breeze to zip around, is the Lakeside 660 Compact Mart Cart for Mobile Food Operations. It measures just 28 1/4 x 49 x 72 1/4 inches. For even more bells and whistles, the Lakeside 68040 Compact Mart Cart with Full-Length Stainless Overshelf provides plenty of space at 27 1/2 x 60 x 70 inches. Either way, both compact carts provide plenty of space for food and beverages while efficiently and conveniently using space. The large stainless steel countertop work surface offers plenty of space for completing tasks.

They're designed to maximize portability.

Both sizes of compact mart carts provide next-level portability and are easy to maneuver into and out of spaces large and small including elevators, rooms, hallways, and kitchen areas. Features include easy-to-grab, ergonomic, vertical or horizontal handles on the side. There are also heavy-duty 5″ swivel casters to quickly move the cart from place to place. Better yet, both carts are lightweight yet sturdy. No need to be a racecar driver while steering and guiding either cart. Just move your point-of-sale and enjoy the profitability.

Speaking of profitability, stock the things that sell.

The sky is the limit when it comes to food and beverages that can find their way onto a Lakeside Mart Cart. It makes for an ideal breakfast on-the-go serving station, a snack bar, or beverage cart. Above the upper countertop is a storage area with multiple compartments that can hold a variety of items such as utensils, napkins, food packets, yogurt cups, tea bags, condiments, and more.

Create and customize Compact Mart Carts.

The adjustable height and slide-out stainless steel shelves allow the cart to customize its functionality for all sorts of easy configurations. It's even possible to remove shelves and replace them with optional insulated containers for holding hot and cold items. Soup, hot cocoa, lemonade, and fresh fruit salad have never tasted better or been easier to serve. The optional personalized merchandising front is an incredible way to add a logo, phrase, or design element. There is also plenty of space for accessories like utensils, napkins, plates, cups, ice, food containers, and a cash register.

Clean-up and maintenance are a snap.

Not just practical, both carts are also attractive and durable with a standard laminate exterior finish. For added design interest, custom laminate finishes are available. Both sizes of the Lakeside Mart Cart have a stainless steel interior that is easy to clean and sanitize. An excellent way to attract customers to any location is by offering a variety of food and beverages in an attractive, functional compact mart cart.

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How to Set Up a Profitable Breakfast Cart

Revenue Boosters for K12 Foodservice

As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but according to data, it's also the most profitable. These days, many restaurants and foodservice stations are discovering America's love affair with breakfast, which is why so many businesses are offering these dishes all day. But who says restaurants have to have all the fun? Breakfast carts enable other entities to serve customers their favorite dishes without a commercial kitchen. But, how is it possible? Let's break it down.

By the Numbers: Breakfast Sales in the United States

Although breakfast has always been popular in the US, it's taken off considerably since 2020. According to a 2021 survey, over half (62 percent) of Americans say that breakfast is their favorite meal of the day. More impressively, the vast majority (79 percent) of individuals say they've eaten breakfast for a different meal (i.e., lunch or dinner) at least a few times in the previous year.

As far as breakfast dishes, eggs take the top spot with 65 percent of the vote, followed closely by coffee at 58 percent and cereal at 56 percent. Overall, this data illustrates that Americans are hungry for breakfast and, more importantly, they love the staples. That said, many restaurants and foodservice establishments are getting creative with breakfast offerings, so now is the best time to invest in this meal.

The Advantages (and Challenges) of a Mobile Breakfast Cart

Restaurants have it the easiest when serving breakfast because they have the infrastructure to build a menu and handle orders. Even hospitality businesses have it easy since breakfast in hotels has been a staple for forever. However, other entities like colleges, corporations, and venues can take advantage of breakfast by using a mobile cart. Breakfast carts offer several benefits, such as:


A mobile cart can move to wherever the action is. For example, if there's a busy event, a venue can deploy carts to different areas to cater to guests. Similarly, colleges can post a cart in front of hot-spots so students can grab something on their way to class.


Breakfast carts are designed for "grab-and-go" items and meals. So, a single attendant can manage the cart easily with minimal backup. Also, carts don't draw much power for refrigerated items, or businesses can use ice trays to keep products at the right temperature.


It's easy to change the offerings on a breakfast cart since it doesn't necessarily have a menu. So, cart owners can swap out low-selling items for those that go like hotcakes, making the cart even more profitable.

Although these benefits are pretty substantial, running a cart has two drawbacks. First, restocking the cart can be challenging, especially if it's deployed in a high-traffic area. On busy mornings, the cart may run out of food quickly, leading to dissatisfied customers. The second downside is that it doesn't offer hot food. As we mentioned, eggs are the number one dish, so customers may not appreciate the limited selection.

How to Optimize a Cart for Profitable Breakfast Service

Since demand is so high, businesses can't afford to neglect the earning potential of a portable breakfast cart from Lakeside. Here are a few ways to make the cart even more accommodating to customers:

Use Fun Signage

Magnetic signs can draw the eye and entice customers to come check out the cart and its offerings.

Provide Plates and Utensils

Although a cart won't have hot food, businesses may offer dishes that require utensils (i.e., cereal). Providing these items on-site makes it easier for customers to eat on the go.

Savory vs. Sweet Breakfast

Some people prefer sweets for breakfast, such as cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, or doughnuts. Others may want savory dishes like breakfast sandwiches or bagels. Carts can either focus on one item or provide both to capture both types of customers.

Make Breakfast Carts More Profitable by Selecting the Right Cart

Lakeside offers a full range of serving cart solutions that are ideal for breakfast service. Check out some of our most popular options today.

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Lakeside Helps Florida Soup Kitchen

Food insecurity impacts more than one out of every ten U.S. households. When you think about it, that’s an alarming number, and it’s something so many great non-profit organizations around the country are trying to reduce.

One of those organizations is Gracie’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen in Yulee, Florida that feeds seniors, veterans, single parents with families, the homeless, and the working poor. Before the Covid pandemic, they were serving more than 40,000 meals every year to those in need in the Yulee area, with additional branches of their organization helping to feed malnourished dogs and cats, as well as their “Socks for Souls” program that provides socks to those in need.

Their main focus is on foodservice, though, with more than $30,000 raised annually to “Nourish the Hungry and Feed Their Spirit.” Here at Lakeside, we admire their commitment to the community, so we offered to help.

Lakeside Helps to Upgrade Gracie’s Kitchen Serving Carts

A team from Lakeside learned about the Gracie’s Kitchen story and quickly discovered their serving cart situation was a challenge at best. Pictures of their existing carts showed they were being held together, quite literally, by duct tape, and that’s when Lakeside decided to step in. By replacing their old plastic carts with new Lakeside 311 series carts, their ability to serve the community in need was drastically enhanced. The Gracie’s Kitchen team could not have been more thankful.

utility cart service

Foodservice utility carts for kitchens are our specialty here at Lakeside, and we’re happy to help contribute to the great works at Gracie’s Kitchen with our 311 serving carts.

The 311 series is the first stainless steel utility cart created at Lakeside, and it was designed to last. It’s made for both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house applications, and we hope the great crew at Gracie’s Kitchen find their work just a little bit easier with the 311. Based on the duct-taped plastic carts they had before, we can guarantee it.

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What’s the 311 on Stainless Steel Utility Carts?

You’ve come to the right place for information on utility carts, as we’re going to explore one of the classic models in the Lakeside portfolio. From a company with more than 75 years of interesting history, the advent of the 311 is one of the most important milestones in Lakeside history.


lakeside 311 stainless steel utility cartThe 311 Utility Cart is the very first stainless steel Lakeside utility cart design, and it’s still very popular today. Made for both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house service, the 311 Utility Cart is ideal for bussing, service set-up, usage as a tray or soiled dish station, and can even serve as a light-duty transport and storage cart over even floor surfaces.

The 311 Utility Cart from Lakeside has other important benefits, as well. Its durability comes from electronically welded, 20-gauge stainless steel legs along with a reinforced, hemmed front on 22-gauge stainless steel shelves to provide added support where it’s needed.

For reduced sound and vibration, deadening panels are added under the shelving to make 311 Utility Cart usage quieter. With bumpers on the legs and handles, walls and furniture are also protected. Finally, the 311 Utility Cart from Lakeside is easy to use.

The Evolution of the Utility Cart

With more than 75 years of experience comes the recognition that one single stainless steel utility cart design will not satisfy every type of need. While we love the 311 design, we realize it’s not the perfect cart for everyone. That said, our first stainless steel utility cart has helped inspire the designs of so many other carts in the Lakeside portfolio.


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What Utility Cart Is Best for Your Facility?

When trying to determine which utility cart is best for your facility, there are a few simple guidelines that can help make the decision easier. In schools or hotels or even in warehouses, it's important to determine the W's that will lead you to the right choice, so let's walk through those basics now before we provide you with a great tool to help you select the best utility cart.


This is the most basic and most obvious question you'll need to answer. What are you moving from point A to point B, and how much do those items weigh? The reality is this will impact your utility cart choice in two important ways. First, the more weight you'll move the heavier duty a cart will need to be. Carts come in different levels of durability. Moving 500 pounds on a cart designed to transport 250 pounds can be a major safety hazard, and your cart will not last. Second, the shape of the items you're planning to move will impact the shelving requirements on the cart.


Casters will play a key role in a utility cart's capabilities. We've dug into the basics of casters in a previous post, but as it stands in terms of utility cart selection, the main question to ask is over what types of surfaces will my utility cart travel. If the answer is smooth inside surfaces, the caster requirements will be different than uneven pavers out on the pool deck.


This is a question operators and facilities managers might not think about. The fact is when utility carts are designed and manufactured here at Lakeside, we create carts designed for varying levels of usage. Incurring the expense of a cart designed for use 20 hours per day isn't cost-effective for an operation that only needs to use the cart during a single, eight-hour shift. Likewise, a cart designed for minimal usage won't cut it for higher-demand operations. How long you plan to use the cart plays a big role.

So which cart is right for you?

Answering that question correctly includes cross-referencing the items above to hit an option that fits your best overall needs and challenges. Lakeside has a full range of utility cart offerings, but the reality is most of those carts will either be too much cart or too little. To help you find the cart that's just right, we put together a comprehensive cart selector that walks you through the WHAT's, WHERE's, and WHEN's. Click the button below to use our new utility cart selector.

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The Importance of Ergonomically-Engineered Utility Carts

A utility cart is a valuable tool for any commercial establishment that needs to move goods from point A to point B. While there are different types of utility carts with different levels of durability, they should all be easy to use in an ideal world. In a world of foodservice staff shortages, they need to be easy to use, and that's why ergonomics play an important role.

Why should foodservice operations consider ergonomically-engineered utility carts? For starters, they can reduce the risk of injuries by as much as 35 percent. They can also help employees avoid longer-term health issues like carpal syndrome and back pain. Think about it. When someone is pushing hundreds of pounds across a hotel courtyard for a buffet dinner service on the other side of the property, moving those materials on a cart designed to move easier will most certainly be the safer option.

While injuries caused by poorly designed utility carts might not be common, what is normal in today's workplace environment is the lack of staff. An operation that can make the workplace safer and the tasks easier to perform will ultimately have greater retention rates, and ergonomically-designed utility carts can help achieve those goals.

Make Existing Utility Carts More Ergonomic

Some simple changes to your carts could make them more ergonomic. For instance, replacing handles with knobs for ergonomics in foodservice is a quick way to make your workplace more comfortable for employees and customers alike. Other changes include installing adjustable shelves in carts and having employees carry the cart instead of pushing it when it's not in use. The best thing about using ergonomically engineered utility carts is the fact that they can reduce accidents by as much as 80 percent.

Buy Utility Carts That Are Ergonomically-Designed

When buying ergonomic carts for your business, it is crucial to consider the following four factors for maximum efficiency.

1. SAFETY: Try to buy carts with features that will protect your employees from injury. Consider buying a cart with a retractable handle or a locking mechanism for the wheels.

2. DURABILITY: The lifespan of a cart is highly dependent on how durable it is. Choose carts that are made with high-quality materials and components so they can withstand regular weather changes, bumps, and drops without breaking down too quickly.

3. COMFORT: Your ideal ergonomic carts should be designed in a way that makes them comfortable to use without causing discomfort to the user's back and shoulders over time. Consider features like ergonomically-designed handles or easy-grip handles on the sides of the cart to help make pushing them easier for your employees. If you are buying foodservice utility carts, you should ensure that their comfort is top-notch so as to improve efficiency in your establishment.

4. COST: Ergonomically engineered utility carts come at different prices. Ensure that you shop around before buying one, so you can find the best fit for your needs at the right price point. This ensures you're getting what you're paying for and not buying a utility cart that won't meet your needs or will provide more capabilities than required.

4 Ways to Make Sure Your Employees Are Protected from The Risks of Ergonomics

1. Ensure that your cart is properly aligned whenever you are using it. Whether you're pushing, pulling, or carrying it, make sure the wheels are aligned correctly and that the handles are well positioned to allow maximum comfort and effectiveness.

2. Check that your handlebars are securely fastened at all times and that they cannot slide around while in use. When maneuvering this equipment, arms should not be extended out to their full length as this increases strain on wrists and shoulders.

3. Ensure that your carts have mesh pockets or compartments for trash bags and other items to help prevent littering within the cart itself as well as on surrounding ground surfaces.

4. Keep these carts at least one foot away from walls when being used to avoid any potential collisions with wall-mounted shelving units or racks.

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The Multifunctionality of Foodservice Utility Carts: What To Know


If you work in the foodservice industry, heavy-duty utility carts are a great way to transport a wide variety of items, protect valuable inventory, and is a safe storage space. Regardless of whether you're moving boxes, retrieving supplies, or getting ready for an upcoming event, you can make life easier by relying on multifunctional utility carts, but what does multifunctional really mean? Why is it important? And what are should operators look for when considering foodservice utility carts?

Transport Supplies Seamlessly From Place to Place

Of course, one of the first ways you can use multifunctional utility carts is to transport supplies easily from place to place. For example, you might have food and beverages that you need to move to a specific room for an upcoming event. Maybe you need to move cups, plates, and napkins. Perhaps you have fragile items that deserve added protection. Heavy-duty utility carts are versatile pieces of equipment that can accommodate all of your transportation requirements.

Keep Your Supplies Organized

If you don't keep your supplies organized, you might have a hard time efficiently carrying out your daily operations. Utility carts come with a bunch of helpful compartments that allow you to organize inventory, hardware, and other tools. That way, you make life easier for your employees and workers. They can hang their tools on the side, divide items by compartment, and make sure all fragile items have proper protection. You can also save space on storage, as you can keep some items on your utility carts if you use them regularly.

Take Advantage of Customizable Options

Different niches and industries have different needs, so you might want to customize your utility cart depending on your specific line of work. For example, you might want to choose vertical panels that provide added protection or privacy. You might want to hang pegboards on the side of your utility carts for hanging tools. You can also use shelves that have cantilevered type adjustments that create more space or make your cart easier to transport. If you want to increase the efficiency of your operations, take advantage of a personalized, customized heavy-duty utility card.

Handle Heavy Loads

Utility carts have been specifically designed to be strong and durable. If you have heavy loads that you need to transport from place to place, you can use a foodservice utility cart to help you. You do not have to worry about purchasing heavy equipment or asking your employees to manually transport heavy loads from place to place. This can significantly reduce the chances of your employees getting hurt, and you can provide your industrial equipment with the protection it requires. If you need to transport heavy loads from place to place quickly and safely, multifunctional utility carts are the way to go.

Take Advantage of Foodservice Utility Carts from Lakeside

If you work in the foodservice, catering, hospitality, or restaurant industry, you understand the importance of having heavy-duty utility carts you can use regularly. Because your utility carts can serve more than one purpose, you can reduce the equipment required by using this valuable piece of equipment to fulfill multiple roles. Furthermore, you can take advantage of added storage space while making life easier for your staff. If you want to get the most out of your utility carts, count on the foodservice professionals from Lakeside to help you.

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The 5 Levels of Durability in Lakeside Utility Carts

Utility carts can provide a wide range of functions in commercial foodservice or operational foodservice environments. Whether it's delivering meals to a kindergarten classroom or mobile foodservice on a college campus, what you're moving, how much it weighs, how far it goes, and how often a cart is used should be factored into the decision on which cart to buy. But more on that in a minute.

There are definitely some ideas for strengthening your mobile foodservice capabilities, though, and one of them is to determine how durable a cart is needed based on Lakeside's five levels of durability. How are levels determined?

Basically, Lakeside's Durability Index is a function of how the cart will perform over time performing the functions it was designed to perform. This is a calculation that goes beyond simply adding up the total weight of the cargo. It involves analyzing other factors like the weight individual shelves will hold, the type of flooring over which the cart will move, and the number of times per day the cart will be used.

Lakeside then takes this data to create and develop cost-effective solutions that will meet the demand of their Durability Index, and they fall into five different categories.

A Quick Comparison of Lakeside's Durability Index Ratings


For starters, Lakeside offers standard durability utility carts that are designed to transport lighter loads of 300 pounds or less for up to three hours per day. These are classic cart options that take care of all the important and basic functions an operator would need including bussing, set-up tray stations, and more. Use Standard Durability models over smooth tiles, vinyl tile floors, and smooth indoor concrete.


These economical carts can be used in the front-of-the-house or for more utilitarian functions like deep well utilities. Shelving is reinforced with a hemmed front for more moderate loads of up to 500 pounds. They are designed to be used from four to nine hours a day over smooth surfaces.


As with the other tiers in Lakeside's Durability Index, the higher you go on the scale, the more weight the cart can handle. In the case of Lakeside's Heavy Duty carts, they can transport weights of up to 700 pounds for as many as 12 hours a day. From the receiving dock to the warewashing station, loads can be transported over vinyl, ceramic tiles, indoor concrete, and carpet.


The higher we get on the Durability Index, the more these carts can handle. For operators looking to transport up to half a ton per load, the Tough Transport Cart option will achieve those objectives from 10 to 18 hours per day. To provide even more functionality, caster systems are designed to roll over uneven tile floors, thresholds, elevators and carpets. With shelving made from 14 gauge stainless steel and legs that are 1/8 inch stainless steel, Tough Transport Carts can handle just about any job.


Finally, for operators who need the ultimate in durability, Lakeside's Extreme Duty Carts deliver the ultimate in performance, with carrying capacities up to 1,500 pounds for use around the clock. These carts are often used for extreme functions in operations ranging from casinos to correctional facilities across any type of surface, from the parking lot to uneven pavement.

Use our helpful guide to determine which level of durability you need.

If the above information is helpful, but you're still finding it difficult to determine exactly which durability level you need, check out our easy-to-use cart picker. Simply answer a few questions about your intended use cases, and we'll direct you to the models that will suit you best -- nothing more, nothing less.

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A Quick Look at Supply Chain Issues in School Nutrition

Like in all industries, school nutrition directors are facing far-reaching supply chain issues that are impacting their abilities to serve students. In fact, according to the School Nutrition Association's 2021 Supply Chain Survey, more than 98 percent of districts and programs reported shortages or difficulty procuring menu items, supplies, packaging, and more.

Coupling this trend with current labor shortages (nearly 95 percent of respondents reported staff shortages as a major challenge) and financial hurdles (only half of the schools report reimbursement rates being sufficient for covering costs of service during the pandemic) lead to challenging times for school nutrition directors.

When there's a challenge, there's also an opportunity though. Here are several things school nutrition directors can consider to enhance service during a global supply chain shortage.


No matter what, school nutrition directors will continue to serve healthy meals to our students. That's what they do. And while scrambling to meet demands with current vendors might be a challenge, it's also an opportunity to search for new vendors who can help provide needed ingredients, supplies, or equipment. For staff, consider ways to ease the burdens on existing employees by streamlining processes or utilizing more efficient systems and equipment.


In many school districts, April and May are great times to start planning for upgrades to the 2022-23 school year. Consider new plans for cafeterias and serving lines now, and those upgrades can be demonstrated and installed in the early summer. This puts school nutrition directors on track for the first day of school later in the summer with ample time to make adjustments or to consider custom designs.


Challenging times are also the perfect times for making changes to how service is delivered. For so many districts across the country, moving meals outside or to the classroom has been a pivotal part of keeping kids as safe as possible, minimizing the risks of potential exposure during the pandemic. But serving breakfast to students in the classroom, for example, is also a great way to promote nutritional wellbeing after a global pandemic. With this, many schools are adopting mobile serving methods to deliver breakfast and lunch directly to students in the classroom.

Plan ahead with Lakeside and Multiteria to reduce or avoid supply chain delays altogether.

Lakeside can help you avoid the current supply chain shortages with systems manufactured right here in the U.S. From serving lines to mobile food carts, now is the time to start planning for the coming school year.

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Inclusive Workplaces: ADA Compliant Cashier Stations

Inclusive Workplaces: ADA Compliant Cashier Stations

Today, any business owner understands the need to ensure the business remains compliant with ADA requirements. One common thing to consider is getting a convenient cashier station with the required height. In this post, we'll help you discover the ADA standards for your business. Ensuring every individual has equal access is crucial for all businesses. But what is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act affects practically all businesses with 15 or more full-time employees. The company can be online-only, public websites, or brick-and-mortar stores. Generally, the idea for these compliance rules is to ensure all public accommodations are accessible to all members of the public.

When it comes to retail and foodservice, countertops are a big consideration, as cashier counters should be long, wide, and short enough to allow employees and customers with disabilities to gain access to goods and services. It is common to find high sales and service counters that people in wheelchairs cannot reach. Therefore, modifying them to match the required standards is important.

ADA-compliant cashier stations need to be 36 inches wide and high to accommodate all shoppers and persons with disabilities. From a forward perspective, leave 12 inches of knee space below the counter to ensure anyone in it is comfortable and has easy mobility.

Equally important, locate the cashier counter in an area with a clear room with abundant space. The room space for the cashier counter should measure at least 30 inches by 48 inches. The clear floor allows for the free movement of wheelchairs and large appliances. There should be no clutter or obstructions that can present any danger in an accident.

Why Is ADA Compliance Important?

There are many reasons why a business should be ADA compliant. The top ones are:

  • The ADA is the law: the ADA is a law at the federal level and helps protect everyone with disabilities against discrimination. It helps to monitor businesses as they should comply with the typical requirements of accessible design, which means as long as you are operating a business in the US, the standards apply to you
  • You will gain and retain customers. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, one person in every five you meet has a form of disability. Thus, you will likely have some people with disabilities among your target customers.
  • Word of mouth advertising: Generally, the disability community is often tight-knit and sticks together. They are likely to encourage others to become your customers when you deliver exceptional customer service.
  • Tax write-offs and financial assistance: ADA creates standards and resources that help meet compliance goals. Being ADA compliant increases your chances of financial assistance and lowers the possibility of ADA violation.
  • It's the right thing to do. Doing whatever you can do to help a wider segment of the population is just a nice and kind way to act.

What Can Happen If A Business Is Not In Compliance?

Understanding the consequences of not complying with ADA rules will enable you to avoid penalties. They include:

  • It attracts huge fines. According to federal laws, a non-compliant business may pay up to $75,000 in fines for the first violation. Any additional ADA violations may go up to $150,000. These are direct penalties that you need to avoid by ensuring your business is ADA-approved.
  • Lawsuits by people with disabilities: If you don't offer adequate public accommodation, you expose your business to lawsuits, civil penalties, or personal injury issues from customers or employees.
  • Damage to your business reputation: This is perhaps the most financially damaging consequence if your business is not ADA compliant. You will lose reputation among your potential customers, meaning low sales and fewer customers.

It is essential to remain ADA compliant and serve your customers effectively. Here are Multiteria's ADA-compliant cashier stations that you can purchase today for your business.