Strategy clinic: catering for disabled guests

13 March 2008 by
Strategy clinic: catering for disabled guests

"How can I cater more effectively for disabled guests?"

One simple answer is to ask more questions at the time of booking. For example, how is the guest arriving what time will they arrive will they need wheelchair access? You can then further enhance their experience with a reserved accessible car parking space, a porter looking out for them at the right time to help with luggage, and guidance to the right room.

But why should it stop there? What about a wheelchair-accessible shower, a stool by the side of the bath to aid access, a dispenser for soiled dressings, less furniture in the bedroom to improve ease of access, a telephone with large buttons, marketing or menu information in Braille, information about accessibility of places to visit in the area, and reserved accessible seating in the bar or nearer the toilets in the restaurant?

Each business needs to identify the right questions for its own situation and type of guest. Make sure you then provide the right information to the relevant departments, like housekeeping, for example, so staff do not leave trolleys outside an accessible room, preventing a wheelchair user from getting down for breakfast in the morning or to porters, so that trays of debris are cleared immediately from areas where someone with visual impairment might need to walk and also to the restaurant, so that the dinner booking is not for a table of 10 plus a wheelchair, but for 11 guests, one of whom will need to use your ramp.

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