Pubs and BarsTrade Associations

BBPA publishes accessibility guidelines for pub managers

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has published new guidelines for pubs entitled ‘An Open Welcome: Making your pub more accessible for customers’.

Its aim is to guide publicans in developing more accessible sites for those with access needs, as well as employing workers with disabilities, training staff, and providing “honest and up-to-date” information for customers and employees. 

The BBPA worked alongside multiple organisations to construct the guide, including MotionSpot, VisitEngland, Guide Dogs UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. They also developed a training pack alongside Tourism for All, which highlights the importance of the ‘Purple Pound’ in the pub trade. 

The pack will also focus on “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”.

The guide was published on Purple Tuesday 2019, a day recognised as an “international call to action focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people and improving awareness of their value and needs”.

The guide includes specific information on making pub toilets accessible, as well as information on Disability Confident, a government scheme that encourages employers to recruit disabled talent and those with health conditions. 

Case studies were also referenced to show how previous sites have improved accessibility, and the advantages they have seen in doing so. Charities have also contributed advice on how pubs can “cater to their wider community”.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, 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.”

She added: “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.”

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