Modern Restaurant Management’s article “Three Ways to Bring Your ‘A’ Game to Accessibility” informs restaurants on ways that digitizing menus can help improve accessibility.
Excerpt From Modern Restaurant Management:
Three Ways to Bring Your ‘A’ Game to Accessibility
Get Rid of PDFs
Supplementing or replacing paper menus with portable document format (PDF) digital menus has been a common and easily executed solution. PDFs can be viewed on guests’ smartphones and other personal devices or on sanitized tablets provided by the restaurant (although awkwardly, plus they can quickly go out of date and don’t do much for your brand). Beyond safety, this saves on printing costs and keeps all those disposable menus out of landfills.
The downside, of course: PDFs are not inherently accessible. They can pose challenges to guests who suffer from vision, epilepsy, motor skills or cognitive problems and other conditions. While it’s technically possible to make a PDF accessibility-friendly, it requires a lot of work by restaurants and an accessibility check needs to happen every time the PDF is updated to ensure continued compliance.
It’s estimated that in 2019 more than 11,000 lawsuits were filed in federal court for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III, with estimated average settlement costs of $16,000 for restaurants and other businesses that are considered open to the public. (This doesn’t count lawsuits filed at the state level.)
Using today’s digital technologies, virtually any restaurant can modernize its high-maintenance and inaccessible PDF menus. These range from do-it-yourself (DIY) options to enterprise SaaS options, neither of which require an IT department. The core technology is often very simple and inexpensive. For example, QR codes (remember them?) can be a simple and inexpensive way to build interactivity and accessibility into digital menus.
When striving to meet accessibility mandates, look for PDF-replacement solutions for your menu that can adapt automatically for a variety of individual conditions. There are affordable, expert services that can certify that your digital menu is accessible, such as accessiBE. Pro tip: if you do all the work to certify your web site for accessibility, DO NOT link to a PDF menu. It defeats the purpose.
In the spirit of restaurants as social unifiers, one accessible menu for all means true accessibility. (Plus it will save you money and management overhead.)
Read the full article here: MRM EXCLUSIVE: Three Ways to Bring Your ‘A’ Game to Accessibility