Restaurant Accessibility is Win Win

By | May 10, 2024
CDC Disability

Restaurant Accessibility Works for Customers and Business

Nice point — An important first step for restaurants is to consider the ADA the baseline and the bare minimum, Knackstedt said. It may be a new way of thinking for some operators. But all operators, ultimately, have the same goal: to offer great hospitality to all.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • Inclusive Design at Starbucks: The new Starbucks at Union Market in Washington D.C. is designed with the Inclusive Spaces Framework, featuring accessible paths, power-operated doors, and an easy-to-read order status board, making the store welcoming for all customers, including those with disabilities.
  • Beyond ADA Compliance: The store goes beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, showcasing how accessible design benefits everyone, not just individuals with disabilities.
  • Accessible Technology: Starbucks’ POS system with voice recognition and screen magnification, along with McDonald’s updated kiosks with audio navigation and magnifying mode, exemplify technology that enhances accessibility for all customers.
  • Consultation and Proactivity: Restaurants are encouraged to view accessibility as a standard business practice, seek expert advice, and involve the disability community to create spaces that are welcoming to everyone.
Matt Ater, vice president of business development at Vispero, an accessibility consulting firm and an assistive technology provider for the visually impaired, has encountered such technology. Take mobile credit card readers. “Why does a blind person have to ask a waiter to do their own tips or, from a security perspective, put in your pin?” he said.

But his biggest concern is the rapid growth of kiosks. They’re used to streamline service and help alleviate bottlenecks when restaurants are short on employees. However, they can be challenging to navigate for some people with disabilities or people who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the technology.

Through Vispero, Ater, who is blind, works with restaurants and other retailers to ensure their kiosks are accessible to all. Over the past few years, McDonald’s, a client, has updated many of its kiosks to include features like audio navigation, magnifying mode, and pictures.


Author: Staff Writer

Craig Keefner is the editor and author for Kiosk Association and kiosk industry. With over 30 years in the industry and experience in large and small kiosk solutions, Craig is widely considered to be an expert in the field. Major kiosk projects for him include Verizon Bill Pay kiosk and hundreds of others.