Decorative Waves

Creating Accessible Dining Spaces

A man in a wheelchair dines at a table with a friend, raising beer in toast.

A memorable dining experience hinges on more than just delicious food and excellent service; it also depends on how comfortable and welcome guests feel in your space. For individuals with specific access needs, it's especially important that restaurants prioritize creating accessible spaces--and it's good business, too! One in four Americans has a disability, (temporary or permanent), and by focusing on accessibility, restaurants have an undeniable opportunity to attract more patrons and improve customer retention by welcoming guests of all sizes and abilities. 

Ease of movement is essential for a comfortable dining experience. Restaurants can cater to guests with mobility limitations by ensuring aisles and pathways are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, and guests of all sizes.

Keeping pathways clear of debris and creating space for movement between areas in your space significantly enhances accessibility and comfort for all diners.

 

A diverse range of seating options allows guests to choose what works best for their needs. Restaurants should offer a variety of seating options, such as booths with moveable tables, chairs with and without arms, and bench seating.  Providing a variety of seating choices ensures that every guest can comfortably enjoy their meal, regardless of their size or abilities.

The availability of accessible restrooms is a crucial aspect of any dining experience. Restaurants can accommodate guests of all abilities by incorporating features like family bathrooms, wider stalls, grab bars, and lowered sinks in their restrooms. By making these adjustments, restaurants provide a more inclusive experience for everyone.

Effortless navigation contributes to a pleasant dining experience for all guests. Restaurants can help guests feel more comfortable and welcome by using clear, visible signage, accessibility symbols, and well-lit paths. Attention to detail in navigation pathways not only benefits those with access needs but also enhances the overall experience for all patrons.

The physical space is not the only thing in a restaurant that needs to be tailored for inclusion. The key to creating an inclusive dining space lies in having well-trained and situationally-aware staff. Accommodating people smoothly requires a staff trained on how to respectfully and effectively accommodate guests with specific access needs. Of course, knowledgeable, heads-up, and sensitive staff contribute to a welcoming dining experience for everyone.

Embracing accessibility in dining spaces is a win-win for both guests and restaurants. By creating accessible and welcoming environments for individuals, restaurants not only cater to the diverse needs of their patrons but also enhance the overall dining experience for everyone. Making it clear your restaurant is accessible by claiming your listing on Friendly Like Me, will help you attract more customers seeking accessible places, and since 26% of the US population has a disability--it's good business, too. 

Restaurants that showcase their accessibility will attract more customers. Get started by using the Friendly Like Me app, where users find the best match for their needs and preferences. The app works to connect guests with accessible establishments and promotes friendly places. Accessibility is good for business, customer retention, and loyalty; it also benefits all customers by creating welcoming and accessible places where everyone can take part.

 

 

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