On 12 November 2019, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) published its updated 2019 Accessibility in Pubs guide, entitled “An Open Welcome” (that you can download below).
- focuses on the importance of people with disabilities for the tourism sector and
- summarises the legal requirements of making reasonable adjustments for both disabled workers and customers, as well as the financial and social benefits of making your pub more accessible.
In the introduction to the guide, Chris Veitch (Government Disability Champion for the Tourism Sector and Vice Chair of Tourism For All) says:
Pubs are places where everyone is welcome. It’s where family, friends and colleagues come together and where tourists to this country feel they will see the true, welcoming Britain.
But sometimes, without realising it, we erect barriers to that welcome, especially for those who are disabled or less mobile. If a customer can’t access a pub, bar or restaurant then they will go elsewhere. That means that all their family, friends and colleagues will go elsewhere as well. Not only is the business lost but the customer’s experience is zero or even negative.
This guide is a reminder that accessibility and inclusion is not just about complying with the law, it’s about putting the customer – every customer – at the heart of your business. If we can understand the experience of our disabled visitors then not only are we doing what is right, we are doing what is right for our business, and being the truly welcoming places that we are renowned for around the world.