There’s a restaurant phenomenon that has had success in Australia and countries around the world including France, Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic called dark dining. Restaurant attendees are blindfolded or eat in complete darkness so they don’t see their food.
While it may seem like a gimmick, the experience was launched to raise awareness of visual impairment and it is an interesting but unsettling experience for many of us so used to being able to see our food and read a menu.
It raises many questions about what business owners of cafes, restaurants and venues can do for the visually impaired community.
With over 400,000 blind Australians nation-wide, Hog’s Breath Cafe have decided to make a difference by teaming up with Vision Australia to create a Braille menu and positively transform dining out for the blind.
Hog’s Breath Cafe CEO Ross Worth said the restaurant group wants to be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities such as the blind or partially blind.
“We know that the vision-impaired community value the opportunity to be independent and not have to rely on friends or staff to read the menu for them,” said Worth.
Vision Australia General Manager Queensland, Karen Knight, said that braille is one of the key communication tools that allows people who are blind or have low vision to receive and send information.
“We congratulate Hog’s Australia’s Steakhouse on providing a braille accessible menu and creating a more inclusive social experience,” said Knight.
“Being able to independently participate in social activities with their friends and family is very important to the blind and low vision community.”
Ross Worth went on to say that the Hog’s Breath philosophy is all about fun and that applies to everyone in the community.
“We want everyone to have a great dining experience with us, and enjoy our delicious new menu, and to that end we have put many initiatives in place to ensure that’s the case for the disabled community also.”
Hog’s Breath introduced its new menu in April this year. While the Aussie institution remains a steakhouse at its heart, the Hog’s team noted the increasing appetite for nutritious options and stepped up to the plate with a revamped menu to cater for all tastebuds, including vegetarian and gluten-free, and embracing produce sourced fresh from local farms.
To find out how your business can better cater to your visually impaired customer’s needs visit: To donate to Vision Australia visit https://www.
Image and video: provided, Talent: Caitlin McMorrow