The quieter time following Christmas gives restaurateurs an opportunity for reflection on Festive Season performance and potential improvements for the future. A recent survey of disabled diners highlighted the following:
The entrance to your restaurant is so important for accessibility. If someone can’t get into your venue, how will they ever be a customer there? Step free and level access is the best way, but buildings aren’t always designed to accommodate this. If this is the case for your establishment, an easy to use ramp close to hand and friendly staff who know how to use it will often suffice. This means disabled people can visit spontaneously and enjoy your venue!
An accessible toilet is a must have for disabled access. Especially in food and drink venues. Many disabled people have reported that without access to a disabled toilet, they will simply not go to a business or location. It should be high on the list of priorities to make your restaurant more accessible. Even if accessibility is not the best, helpful and kind staff can make all the difference for disabled people. Also, if you have a red cord in your accessible toilet – make sure your staff are knowledgeable and comfortable with what to do in an emergency when the cord is pulled. Easy to read, large print, and Braille menus make it easier for visually impaired people to order. The menu’s font, text size and contrasting colours is very important. If you have a website, put your menu online for people to read beforehand, or outside the restaurant, and even online, make sure all your signs and text are clear to read and have good contrast. This will help you be seen too!
Customers may have an assistance dog that also need a drink. Create a welcoming environment by having water bowls available for them.
Making it obvious what is and isn’t available at your business can lead to more visits from disabled people and less disappointment from those who do visit. Measurements such as door openings and number of stairs can mean the difference between someone being able to enter your café or not, so it is important to be specific and clear with the information you provide.
The Eastbourne Access Group is a voluntary community group that was formally created in 1981, the Year of Disabled People. The group was formed to oversee the making of the Eastbourne section of a county-wide...