How Can You Better Accommodate Guests with Special Needs?

There is no shortage of regulations detailing how restaurants and hotels are to provide for guests with disabilities or special needs. Unfortunately, that just addresses the bare minimum of what is required to remain compliant. Laws don’t tell you how to make your hotel or restaurant a regular destination for guests with additional requirements, but going above and beyond the expected will earn you great reviews and repeat business.

What do guests with special needs want?

Like most guests, they just want to relax and enjoy themselves. For a significant percentage of the population, life can be a series of obstacles. Whether they must worry about the accessibility of a venue or how to explain their dietary needs, an evening out or a trip away from home can be hard to enjoy. But if you are vigilant about meeting their needs, they won’t have to be.

How can you make your hotel or restaurant a destination for guests with special needs?

Make accessibility a priority

Accessibility goes way beyond just getting through the front door. Just getting around can be a major ordeal. Whether tables are too close together, a chair is pushed out too far or a corner is a bit too tight to turn comfortably, there are a lot of fixes you can make that show you pay attention to little details that make a guest feel appreciated.

Be proactive with allergens

Ask diners upfront if they have any dietary concerns. This indicates that you are willing and eager to accommodate them. Attract diners by making it known that you can accommodate different types of dietary acquirements. Add it to your marketing materials, including menus and signs so that guests feel safe and welcome. Set aside specific nights with gluten free specials, or commit to making your venue free of common allergens.

Take concerns seriously.

A vegetarian or vegan may restrict their diets voluntarily, but for many people who make special requests, allergens are a significant issue. Serving improperly prepared or cross-contaminated food can cause anything from digestive distress to a life-threatening allergic reaction, so don’t gamble with kitchen hygiene.

Guests who receive dishes not prepared to their specification may never return, give you a negative review, or in the worst case, sue your establishment, particularly if they are seriously harmed. Common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish, so be especially mindful of them.

Make guests with special needs feel welcome and comfortable and they will return again and again.

Hire Professionals Who Make Guests a Priority.

It will make your hotel or restaurant more successful. In a service business, a wonderful experience is your only true competitive advantage. Your best chance of providing great service is by hiring the right people. Horizon Hospitality can help you identify and attract top restaurant and hotel talent. Contact our team of hospitality executive recruiters today!

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