Serving Blind Customers at a Restaurant

If you’re working in the hospitality or restaurant industry, you’ve witnessed everything. You’ve seen rude people, nice people, good-looking guys, excellent tippers, and perhaps even those who have last-minute “tables for fifty, please!”. Let’s talk about customers that you may have met but may not have known you. I’m talking about helping customers who are blind.

With around one million Americans who are 40 years old or older who are blind, there is a good chance that some might visit your restaurant.

Do you remember a time recently that you had guests at the restaurant that were visually impaired? Do you think about how to best serve those who were blind? Have your coworkers been shocked?

For situations such as this, here’s a little brief description of how could be done to reach out to customers that are visually impaired.

Empathize When Serving Customers Who Are Blind

It’s been said that if you really want to know the other person, you must walk through their shoes. So, let’s take that mile in the shoes of a person with blindness. We’ll talk about an experience at a restaurant that could be possible.

Socializing with your friends.

Imagine going to an evening of fun with a group of acquaintances. It takes time to decide on a dining establishment. Although all your friends tell you that “we can eat anywhere,” you’re sure this isn’t the case. There’s a lot of discerning people to be that way! However, tonight, you and your friends feel like they’re having fun, so you choose a new spot.

You and your buddies pack up in a vehicle and set off. When you get to the establishment and you begin to be wondering how people get through the restaurant with tables that are so close. It’s particularly challenging for those who have blindness and are using white canes to make the way to their table.

Menus

Issue: Reading the menu out loud is technically possible but is not one that is a good choice for customers. If you have a blind person in your party it’s generally more convenient to stay with an upscale restaurant you enjoy and avoid causing trouble for your family and friends who are around you. This is particularly true if you aren’t able to read the menu since the menu isn’t accessible in Braille or any other accessible format.

Fix: Try to inform your supervisors regarding braille menus. The message is the same as the menu items. However, it’s designed in a manner that’s helpful for customers who aren’t able to read. Informing your customers about the latest items, specials, and drinks typically requires a menu. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to make it an open possibility to a wider audience?

Table setting

Fix It’s perfectly acceptable for you to use this method in a majority of situations. However, letting your guest know when you arrive and what you’re doing and the place you’ll be placing things can go a long way in providing outstanding customer service.

Guest

Fix Directly talk to the user. If you’re ever unsure about something, you can speak to the person. Do not assume that someone else has the authority to speak for them or acts as their guardian. Be sure to place the person in the position of the impairment. Your job isn’t “serving blind customers”; you’re serving those who happen to be blind.

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