Ever have trouble reading restaurant menus?
Most people do, for one reason or another – the print’s too small, the lighting is too low, or there’s just something about the font or the colours that makes you need to squint in order to choose your meal.
I’ve never had to deal with any of that, because I’ve been blind since birth and can’t read menus at all. I’ve got my own private work arounds, of course (“guess what’s on the menu” works surprisingly well), but I’ve always dreamt of creating a menu format that’s accessible to everyone.
Enter the iPhone. Apple have been absolutely brilliant about accessibility, with so many choices for viewing and navigation built in that anyone with a visual, hearing, learning, or physical/motor impairment can now customise their own device to suit their needs.
(Microsoft are starting to catch up on this front, too, though they still have a ways to go.)
My phone reads everything aloud to me – texts, emails, and even web pages, though some pages are more accessible than others. so I had an idea – Restaurant menus – let the app do the talking.
Since restaurant websites are among the least accessible sites on the web, I had the thought of building a web app exclusively for restaurant menus.
Good Food Talks is meant to be a hub for people who want to read restaurant menus in an accessible format, using their phones or tablets.
So how does it work?
You just go to Good Food Talks website and click “find restaurants near me”, and the nearest participating restaurant will appear at the top of the list.
The restaurants pay a small annual fee for this service, which keeps the menus free for users. It also demonstrates their commitment to accessibility, which is something to think about when you’re choosing a restaurant. The ‘Purple Pound’ is worth billions to the UK economy but disabled people need to make their spending decisions count. If something is not accessible we should vote with our wallets.
Why would restaurants want to get involved.
Simon Kosoff, CEO of Carluccios, was an early adopter of Good Food Talking. his restaurant won an award from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for their commitment to accessible menus . They have been quick to realise that with 2 million visually impaired people in the UK thats a sizeable customer market. Simon doesn’t want to exclude anyone from enjoying his restaurants – why would you. Its good business sense as well as being the right thing to do not to mention a great reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act.
I would recommend Carluccios not just for its great food but for its great accessible customer services as well.,
Matt Wadsworth is the founder and CEO of Good Food Talking
Follow Matt on Twitter @GoodFoodTalking
Really Useful Stuff thinks this App is a #useful #disabilitywin