Recently I've been thinking about how we can help customers who are unable to dine out due to accessibility limitations.
When I've mentioned consideration of this to business owners in years gone by it has usually generated similar reactions: 'We can't rebuild the premises!'
But, does 'inclusivity' just mean a lift and/or a loo that can accommodate a mobility chair? Yes - all new builds and re-builds should accommodate wheelchairs without question but, if this is not a reasonable undertaking, are we even accommodating people with less obvious needs? Moreover how do we respond to customers who may enquire about about such facilites?
For example, what if they need access to toilet facilities for health reasons that are less obvious - such as Crohn's? What about people that have sight or hearing challenges that are not marked us such with a support dog? What about those with degengeratiove conditions such as Parkinson's and Dementia? What about those who are less steady on their feet such as older people or who for those who are living with cerebralpalsy?
Are we being empathic and helping our teams to understand that disability awareness is about more than having ground floor loo? Or, do we exclude these customers because there are plenty of other customers who don't need our consideration - afterall 'business is business'is it not? Is it simply human nature not to notice or care untill inaccessibility makes an impact on our own lives?
If you are reading this post and you are a restaurant owner or you have an accessibility need I would love to hear your comments and experiences. You might also like MeIncluded review site