How can I Make My Restaurant Accessible for People Living with Blindness or Impaired Vision?

A photo of people sitting in a restaurant

Owning or managing a restaurant is a demanding job. You have to keep a lot of different plates spinning (pardon the pun) and overcome such challenges as competing with other local businesses, keeping your menu exciting, and maintaining high standards of hygiene and presentation.

But one element of running a successful restaurant is accessibility. No matter how big or small your premises, you must take this seriously to ensure everyone feels welcome and safe.

Below, you’ll find valuable insights into making your restaurant accessible for people living with blindness or vision impairments.

Pay Attention to Your Signage

You want every passerby to notice your restaurant. A well-designed, dynamic sign makes that much more likely, but don’t be complacent when it comes to installing other signs around your premises.

Make sure to utilize contrasting colors to ensure signs stand out from a distance and can be read more easily by those with poor vision. Avoid placing them on reflective surfaces and use a combination of lower- and upper-case characters for clarity.

Also, take advantage of tactile signs to increase accessibility. These feature embossed text and pictograms to help customers affected by blindness and impaired vision find their way. You may even add Braille to your signs too.

Keep Footpaths and Entrances Clear

We all know how important a good first impression is. If customers living with sight-related problems face obstructions on their way into your restaurant, they could be put off — or even injured.

Take responsibility. Look at the footpath leading to your restaurant and the entrance. Are there any potential dangers?

Avoid placing A-boards outside and make sure any exterior tables don’t block anyone’s route.

Help Customers Find Their Way Indoors

Indoor orientation can be difficult for people with sight-related conditions. They may dislike having to rely on a friend or strangers to warn them of obstacles or hazards in their path.

Invest in an indoor orientation solution designed to help your customers find their way safely and independently. RightHear is an innovative app working in conjunction with cutting-edge sensors installed in your restaurant.

Users can receive audio directions and information on what lies ahead of them, making it easy to find the facilities they’re searching for.

Pay Attention to Your Staff's Skills and Training

Hiring the right staff for your restaurant makes a big impact on your customers’ experience. If they feel welcome, respected and valued, they’re more likely to keep coming back. They will recommend your business to friends, family, and colleagues too.

But your employees should be trained in making all customers feel important. Invest in training courses designed to ensure staff feels confident helping people affected by blindness or vision impairments.

Trained employees should be able to identify problems with your restaurant’s layout, design and more too.

No restaurant can afford to be complacent about accessibility. Your business depends on building a positive reputation and gaining loyal customers — and overlooking accessibility can make both much more difficult.

Take advantage of the information and technology available to businesses today to provide a comfortable, safe experience for all of your visitors.