Italian chain Carluccio's has introduced a new menu app that aims to drastically help visually impaired people dining in restaurants.
The Good Food app works on all smartphones, and uses location-tracking software to identify all the nearby restaurants who have signed up to the scheme, and then lets users display their menus in whichever format is most convenient for them.
Options available include text-to-speech software (like VoiceOver on the Apple iPhone), the ability to inverse the colours shown, and ways to change the print size or screen brightness.
Carluccio's is the first restaurant group in the UK to join the app scheme, which was developed by founder Matt Wadsworth after he discovered that many visually-impaired people feel frustrated at needing menus to be read out to them by other people at the table, or by restaurant staff.
Some restaurants offer menus in Braille, but figures suggest that only 1% of visually-impaired Britons can read it.
He said: "With location tracking enabled on their phones, the restaurant will appear at the top of the list, [and people will] be able to read the menu in whatever way suits them bestâ¦Everyone at the table is equal and autonomous, making dining out more dignified, more sociable, and more fun."
Carluccio's chief executive, Simon Kossoff, added: "I think Good Food Talks is absolutely brilliant - it's not every day you see something like this. We know lots of guests struggle to read restaurant menus and we've often wondered what to do about it."
He added: "All we do is email Good Food Talks a copy of our menus and they take care of the rest, including updates. We are delighted to be a founder member."
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