cThe Restaurant and Bar Design Show was the final show I went to as part of London Design Festival 2017, and with it came a very unique opportunity! The Restaurant and Bar design show gave me the perfect excuse to aim at least one of my blog posts towards the trade market and how businesses could make their products, services and premises more accessible to their customers.
Whilst at the Restaurant And Bar Design Show, I got to speak to a few companies about their products and one really caught my eye. MyPos make small ATMs amongst other payment solutions for businesses such as resorts, hotels and restaurants. What caught my eye was the fact that the ATM they've created was so accessible, that even a wheelchair user like myself could use it with ease, see the screen and feel safer using this particular ATM compared to standard bank ones. On speaking with representatives from the company, I found that they actually had never realised that their product could be so accessible to all abled bodied and disabled customers. I think that when a company develops a product that could be used by all, that it should be championed, and that it should be promoted as an accessible product due to the fact that those companies who are created products accessible to all, can help pave the way for more companies to adapt their products to meet the needs of all customers, and not just a select few.
Other companies such as bar design companies also gave me an insight into how they aim to design bars and restaurants with enough space that it's easy for all customers to move throughout the premises, and even suggest to restaurants who want all booth style tables to have a few with movable chairs so that if a wheelchair user did want to dine there, then they could with ease. I found a lot of the designs to be very interesting, especially now that a lot of the designs do have to have at least some accessibility in mind. The one thing that came out time and time again however, is that building and space constraints mean that sometimes, it just isn't possible to have the most accessible design, or the most appealing. I think we've all seen some restaurant and bar designs where the decor just isn't right for the space, or the lighting limitations in dark settings.
If there's one thing that I have come away with from the Restaurant and Bar Design show, it's that companies need to do more to at least try and cater for the larger target audiences, and for those that do already have accessible products and services, they need to shout it from the rooftops so that they can be the example to other companies, take the lead to helping different industries become more inclusive, and be able to adapt to their customers needs.
This post is made in collaboration with Treniq, the online platform for designers, creators, and other design industry professionals where you can discover, connect and trade.