24. Restaurant Obligations

Female Announcer:  And now it's time for the Americans with Disabilities Act updates brought to you by the New England ADA Center. The center is located in Boston at the Institute for Human Centered Design across from TD Garden.  If you have questions about the ADA call 1-800-949-4232 or visit their website NewEnglandADA.org.

Oce: Hi, I’m Oce from the New England ADA Center. I'm going to talk to you about accommodating people with disabilities in restaurants. But first a question, what comes before appetizers and entrees? The answer: access to the restaurant for people with disabilities.

The ADA says that people with disabilities need to have the same restaurant experience as those without disabilities. For restaurant owners who rely on happy customers, here are seven tips for serving customers with disabilities

  1. Provide accessible parking and an accessible route from the parking lot into the restaurant.
  2. Once inside the restaurant, check the pathways to see if there is a 32 inch wide clearance to the dinner table.
  3. For customers with difficulty waiting in line, help customers by taking their order and bringing the food to their table.
  4. For customers with the hearing loss, consider writing or text to communicate any changes to the order.
  5. Help diners who may have difficulty reading by reading the menu with them.
  6. Always provide an accessible bathroom.
  7. Remember service dogs go wherever the customer goes.

In summary the Americans with Disabilities Act requires restaurants to provide goods and services to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the public.

Bon Appetit!

Female Announcer:  If you have questions about this or any topic related to the ADA call 1-800-949-4232 or visit the New England ADA Center website at NewEnglandADA.org.