As a quintessentially British institution, pubs are the home of hospitality and continue to play a vital role in local communities. Renowned for exceptional customer service, it will come as no surprise that pubs are increasingly working hard to improve accessibility for customers.
12 November 2019
12 November 2019
New guidance will help pubs welcome those with access needs The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has published new guidance for pubs, titled “An Open Welcome: Making your pub more accessible for customers”, which will help licensees make their venues as welcoming as possible for those with access needs. The guidance has been published on Purple Tuesday 2019, an international call to action focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people and improving awareness of their value and needs. An Open Welcome features advice for pubs ranging from employing people with disabilities, to training staff and importantly; the need for honest, up-to-date online information so that all customers can make an informed decision before they visit a pub. It also includes detailed information on Disability Confident, a scheme led by Department for Work and Pensions to help publicans hire disabled talent, and specific advice on making pub toilets accessible and better suited for disability needs. The BBPA has partnered with a number of organisations to develop the guidance, including Tourism For All, MotionSpot, VisitEngland, Guide Dogs UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. Case studies including pubs which have improved their accessibility are also included in the guidance, showcasing to others what can be done to improve their offer to disabled customers and the advantages of doing so. The guide also includes tips and advice from charities on how pubs can cater to the whole community. On top of this, Government Disability Champion for the Tourism Sector, Chris Veitch, and Government Disability Champion for the design of ‘spaces & products’, Ed Warner, have also contributed forewords to the guidance. To support the guidance, the BBPA has been working alongside Tourism For All to develop a training pack looking at the importance of having an open and accessible pub. This training focusses on the importance of the ‘Purple Pound’ for the pub trade, what the law says about providing service to customers with disabilities, and how staff can provide a high quality and welcoming service to all customers, regardless of their disability. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Pubs are rightly known for being the heart of their communities, bringing people together under one roof. The hospitality of the pub extends to people with disabilities too. As a sector, we must continue to be as inclusive as we can be and highlight the accessibility of our facilities and their improvements. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. 10 million people in England and Wales have some form of disability, with spending power worth £249 billion annually when combined with their families. “This new guide will help licensees understand how best to help disabled customers and ensure their venue is as welcoming as possible. Euan MacDonald, Co-founder of disabled access review website Euan’s Guide, said: “We’re hopeful that this free advice provided by the British Beer & Pub Association will help pubs across the country make the necessary changes to improve their accessibility. We encourage all pubs to ensure that they are providing detailed, honest and up to date information on their venue’s accessibility online. This will help reduce unnecessary hassle and can encourage more people to visit.” Joel Young, Campaigns Officer at Guide Dogs, said: “With 19% of assistance dog owners that we surveyed highlighting that they had been refused access to pubs in the 12 months prior to April 2019, it is great to see the BBPA taking proactive steps to raise awareness of the access rights assistance dog owners have under the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). We urge all publicans to review their policy relating to access for people with assistance dogs and, to consider the different types of assistance dogs that may enter their establishment.” Tamsin Fraser, Head of Community Engagement at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Going to the pub or popping out for a meal is an important social activity for people with dementia and with the number of people with dementia increasing, it is vital organisations better cater for customers affected by the condition. “Two-thirds of people with dementia live in their community yet many feel trapped in their own homes but the pub and hospitality sector has shown it shares our determination to ensure people with dementia are able to continue to do the things they love. “We’re delighted to see the Beer and Pub Association joining over 450 dementia friendly communities and organisations and uniting against dementia with Alzheimer’s Society to ensure they feel understood and better included in their communities.” The new guidance, titled “An Open Welcome: Making your pub more accessible for customers” is available for free on the British Beer & Pub Association website at: https://beerandpub.com/briefings/an-open-welcome/ An accessible version of the guidance is also available at: https://beerandpub.com/briefings/accessible-version-an-open-welcome/
04 September 2012