How to Make a Meaningful Difference at Your Restaurant in 24hrs

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Reaching Out to the Blind Community

Once you decide that you need to reach out to the blind and visually impaired community, you’ll likely discover that it’s a tough road ahead. There is much in this world that is unfair and inaccessible, but take heart: you’re not alone. Working together with the community, companies can make a meaningful difference by seeking to include everyone in life and in business. Our own company’s mission is to make the world a more readable place and we believe in the idea that with true compassion and caring, there is nothing that we all can’t do together – and business provides the tool to do that.

You don’t have to look to charity to make a difference, when you include everyone in life and in business, that’s when we believe that real change happens. With over 7 million people in the United States who are blind or visually impaired and over one billion people worldwide living with a disability of some kind, now is a better time than any to join the accessibility movement. It is not just the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, but opening your business up to a new market of millions of people makes good business sense.

Crowded downtown sidewalk with text overlay reading "7 million plus people are legally blind in the United States, over 1 billion people living with a disability worldwide."

We operate with the mission of “Making the World a More Readable Place,” and for over 22 years we’ve been connecting businesses to the blind and visually impaired communities in real – tangible ways that benefit both. We provide alternative formats of documents that make this connection, putting your content and materials into accessible formats that others can actually use and read on their own and in ways they prefer.

Having a mission like that doesn’t let us stop there and that is why we have put together a downloadable guide of things that you can do today that make a real difference in restaurants. If you want to learn how to start making a real difference yourself in connecting with your guests who are blind at your restaurant, download the “How to Make a Meaningful Difference in 24hrs” PDF.

Some of the Things You’ll Find in the Report:

  • Inclusion matters at restaurants and here’s how to do it, an overview.
  • Understanding the Sources of your Customer’s Pain
    • 7 Things we wish restaurants know about serving guests with Blindness.
  • Suggestions on How to Better Train Team Members for Inclusion
  • Things You Can Buy Today that Show Others You Care
  • Marketing Templates to Share and Reach Out to the Community
    • Ideas for the host stand
    • Social media outreach posts and strategy ideas
    • Braille Thank You cards and Business Cards to show you care

Hand reaching out to the sun with a text overlay reading "Always put the person before the disability."

“How to Make a Meaningful Difference in 24hrs” [PDF]

More About Each Section

Understanding the Sources of Your Customer’s Pain

Learn what it’s like to go out to eat when you’re living with blindness; this first section is all about empathy: learn what it might be like for your customers.

Things We Wish Restaurants Knew About Serving Guests with Blindness

In the style of an open letter from a restaurant guest whose father is blind, you can discover common complaints and pain points that some guests experience while going out to eat. To get an idea of what a typical night out is like for someone living with blindness, you could refer to a previous blog post that we wrote all about that.

Two chefs in a kitchen with a text overlay reading "restaurants pride themselves on using the highest quality ingredients in their recipes. Likewise, taking pride in high accessibility standards is key."

Suggestions on How to Better Train Team Members for Inclusion

For what to tell your team members about serving guests with visual impairments, we’ve provided tips on training for inclusion.

Things You Can Buy Today that Show Others You Care

We share some real tangible things that you can purchase, that help make the dining experience more accessible. Of course we’d love to be the ones to help you do it, but getting accessibility options into more restaurants makes the world a more readable place and that’s what really matters.

Man sitting alone at a restaurant table with a text overlay reading "Just like sighted guests, customers with blindness prefer to read your menu for themselves."

Marketing Templates to Share and Reach Out to the Community

Learn how to do marketing and advertising to the blind and visually impaired community, we’ll provide tools and templates that your team can use to show off your accessibility and invite everyone out to eat tonight! Who better to teach you how to market to this community, than the industry experts who do it every day?

White canes welcome here, braille and large print menus available.

Ideas for the Host Stand

Show off your accessibility! Put place-cards and signs in obvious places that people who are both sighted and non-sighted will easily be able to read, a great place for this is at the host stand. Greeting people with the knowledge that your restaurant has accessible menus will benefit you in tremendous ways. It helps remind staff that these materials are available to help them, it tells customers you really care, and it helps people feel included and welcome.

Social Media Outreach Posts and Strategy Ideas

There are huge followings of people who are visually impaired on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and yes, even Instagram. Shocked? Don’t be! It’s not as complicated as it sounds, with a few easy tips and tricks, your social game can stay strong and be more accessible. Here are some pointers:

  • Always put the person before the disability. That’s advice from the Americans with Disabilities Act and something that we have made a priority in our own communication.
  • Use popular hashtags (it’s okay to mention the disability, like #blind).
  • If the social media site doesn’t have Alt Text, you can use some of the post’s text to describe the photo.

Ad Templates Free For Your Use

If you’ve taken the time to make your restaurant accessible, you should show it off! Including everyone is not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. Download this guide and we’ll give you some ideas and a whole gallery of free ad templates to help you do it.

Braille Thank You Cards to Show You Care

Sometimes you want to respond to customers who have gone the extra mile and given you a great review; or maybe you just want to say “thank you” to your most loyal fans. Reaching out with a personal letter or thank you card is a great way to do that, remember to make it accessible if that fan also happens to have a disability.

Braille Business Cards for Your Managers

Braille business cards will allow you to leave better impressions with guests who are blind. We print and emboss Braille business cards from scratch without the use of labels, leaving you with stylish, professional business cards that can be read by anyone, sighted or not. The majority of the time your business card is the only thing a customer takes away from meeting you, so make yours unforgettable by adding Braille!

Screenshot showing Reaching Out to the Blind Community cover page.Conclusion

Purposefully including people with disabilities is an on-going process, there is so much out there in the world that is inaccessible or exclusive. Remember, you’re not alone in trying to make it right and that it is definitely worth it in the end. With planning, the right tools, and lots of compassion, restaurants can reap the benefits of inviting everyone to the table.

Think of the socially responsible image restaurants can benefit from when even sighted guests see they offer inclusion through accessibility. Being accessible helps you win over customers. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again “It is not just the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, but opening your business up to a new market of millions of people makes good business sense.”

Download the report and get started in your restaurant today!

[Free Guide] What to Improve in the Next 24 Hours to Better Reach Out to the Blind Community

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This post was written by Braille Works

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