England's Restaurants and Cafés Get New Access Statement Tool
15/04/2012 | 0 comments
VisitEngland, the national tourist board has launched a new version of the Access Statement Online Tool, aimed at helping businesses cater for visitors with access needs.
This new version is specifically tailored for restaurants and cafés, and has been created in partnership with the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and the Restaurant Association.
The online tool provides detailed guidance on the information that may be required by people with access needs when visiting a restaurant or cafe.
Businesses are encouraged to write a general introduction describing the location (city centre, countryside, coast), and to summarise any specific services and facilities suitable for people with access needs. In addition, information may also cover the following areas:
- Pre-Arrival - transport services, a description of the streets in the area surrounding the restaurant (e.g. paved/cobbled/level/uneven), information provided in alternative formats such as large print and audio.
- Car Parking and Arrival - car parking, drop off points, alternative entry points, number of steps, handrails and ramps.
- Restaurant & Bar Area - access to the area and layout, lighting, seating and tables, floor surfaces, alternative formats of menus available.
- Outdoor Areas - accessibility of outdoor furniture, service offered to customers in outdoor area, layout (e.g. pavement, terrace, play area).
Additional areas that are covered include: customer toilets, private dining/function space accommodation and future plans for improvement.
Ross Calladine, VisitEngland’s Skills, Welcome & Accessibility Manager said:
“People with access needs require specific information about a venue in advance in order to be able to make an informed decision about whether an establishment can cater sufficiently for their needs. Restaurants, like any other tourist venue, should provide as much information to visitors as possible - this will help to enhance the visitor experience and also highlight areas where the business could improve.”
Camilla Woods, Policy Director, British Hospitality Association, also commented:
“We were delighted to work with VisitEngland on this step-by-step tool for restaurants and cafés. Access Statements are a really effective way for businesses to ensure customers with any specific access needs have the information they need and we are pleased to be able to recommend this new online tool to our members.”
Once a business has created their Access Statement they can then make this information readily available to visitors. Restaurants can promote their statement on their website if they have one, or post it where they have a listing on a company site or a generic ‘restaurant finder’ site. It should also be kept on hand for staff to use when describing over the phone what facilities they have.
For more information from VisitEngland see www.visitengland.org/accessstatements
VisitEngland is an Associate Member of ENAT