Restaurant Owners, Increase Your Bottom Line!
And Comply with Legislation at the Same Time
Mar 2, 2012
by Geof Collis
Many Restaurants are losing a potential repeat Clientele and dont even realize it.
By not having a readily accessible Menu to Blind, Partially Sighted or even Mobile device users you are losing possible business from a sector of Society that might otherwise want to eat in your establishment on a regular basis.
What options do you offer to access your Menu? Braille, Large Print menus? Audio file?
How old are the in-house Menus? Is the information up to date?
What if the potential Customer cant read Braille or see Large Print?
Are your Staff willing to read it to the person line by line during your busy lunch or dinner hour?
You might have a website with your Menu on it, however I’ve been to many of your sites, the website isn’t accessible and neither is the Menu and try to track it down through all the clutter, I’m in a hurry and all I want is to eat.
Imagine having your Menu readily available on a website much like a Yellow Pages Directory and it was also accessible to Everyone!
Imagine also, Mobile device users, perhaps Tourists for example being able to quickly locate the type of Cuisine they want, go to the website, easily search for and find your Restaurant Menu and decide on the spot you be their destination, heck they might even be just driving by and wondering what was on the menu.
Imagine as well that this website was accessible to those of us who use Assistive devices such as Screen Readers, Braille display or screen Magnifiers, we’d be able to view your Menu at home , when we arrived at your Restaurant we’d know what we wanted and wouldn’t need Staff to read it to us.
Imagine no longer!
Not only is it Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Human Rights Code compliant it can increase your Clientele and your bottom line at the same time.
The Code, Disability, and Accessibility
The Code has prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability for over 20 years. Persons with disabilities have the right to equal treatment in accessing services such as those provided by restaurants, shops, hotels, movie theatres and other public places. Businesses have an obligation to make their facilities accessible. A failure to provide persons with disabilities with equal access to a facility or equal treatment in a service would constitute discrimination under the Code and can be the subject of the human rights complaint to the OHRC. A restaurant would have to demonstrate as a defence to such discrimination that providing access or accommodating services would amount to undue hardship with regard to cost, outside sources of funding, or health and safety.
The OHRC’s Policy and Guidelines on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate (“the Policy”) makes it clear that services and facilities must be built or adapted to accommodate individuals with disabilities in a way that promotes their integration and full participation.
When constructing new buildings, undertaking renovations, setting up new policies and procedures, and offering new services, design
choices should be made that do not create barriers for persons with disabilities.
Where barriers exist, whether physical, attitudinal or systemic, organizations should actively identify and remove them. Where immediate barrier removal would cause undue hardship, interim or next-best measures should be put in
place until more ideal solutions can be attained or phased-in, where possible.