Press Release June 2016: Blue Badge Style Appoints Non-Exec from Hospitality Sector
Style guide for people with disabilities brings hospitality experience to the team
London, 20 June 2016, Stephen Macintosh, Founder of restaurant operations consultancy, Macintosh Hospitality, has today become a Non-Executive Director at Blue Badge Style, the UK’s most stylish guide to help the less-able lead an exciting social life.
Stephen Macintosh said “Blue Badge Style has an amazing, easy-to-use offering which will change the way the hospitality sector appeals to guests with disabilities. This market is estimated at over £200bn in the UK, but too many restaurants and bars exclude guests with disabilities without necessarily meaning to. I hope that we can bring the Blue Badge Style Gallery to a wider audience, so that everyone can plan a stylish night out”.
A Blue Badge Style Gallery takes a customer with disabilities on a stylish, photographic journey through a venue. A commercially sound investment for restaurants, bars and hotels, a BBS Gallery can increase occupancy rates by improving online information for people with disabilities, their friends & families.
Fiona Jarvis, Founder Blue Badge Style said “We’re very proud to have someone of Stephen’s style and experience on the team. We are passionate about helping people with disabilities to lead and exciting social life; style remains, despite disability. We’re looking forward to tapping into Stephen’s wide understanding and knowledge of the hospitality sector to improve and grow our Blue Badge Style Gallery offering”.
Much more than just a basic ‘wheelchair access’ notice, a Blue Badge Style Gallery is a neat button on the venues’ website, which clicks through to stylish images with discreet pins and notes on various access points. There’s no dull written statement, or grainy images of bathroom rails.
A Blue Badge Style Gallery highlights areas that online galleries often miss, such as:
- Type of flooring – wood and stone are great for a wheelchair, but might pose a problem for a walking stick user. Occasional carpets also need to be pointed out.
- Odd steps – An inch step might be managed with help; six inches is hard work!
- Table legs – good leg positioning helps wheelchair users get close to the table.
- Hard surfaces – can maximise background noise, which can be a challenge for those with hearing difficulties.
- Ramps – it’s always good to know how steep the ramp is before you arrive.
- Rails – one each side of the loo is vital, and at the right height.
The process of creating a Blue Badge Style Gallery also informs staff about potential issues and adds a valuable resource for enquiries. It’s an opportunity to tap into a new market with the minimum of fuss for the venue and the guest.
Notes to Editors
About Blue Badge Style
Blue Badge Style is the UK’s first and only app and website guide to help the less-able lead an exciting social life, because style and disability are not mutually exclusive. Established by Fiona Jarvis in 2007, it aims to give its community a positive, stylish and elegant experience, wherever they go or whatever they do. Fiona first realised she might have MS when she kept falling off her high-heels! That was over 20 years ago and today she uses a wheel chair to glide through life.
Blue Badge Style Gallery comes in three versions; Quick Gallery, Full Gallery and now Virtual Gallery too. Blue Badge Style has designed a BBS Public Gallery for the City of London luxury hotel South Place Hotel and its Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Angler.
About Macintosh Consultancy
A restaurant consultancy delivering world-class operational expertise developed over 20 years alongside market leading restaurateurs. General management services providing the culture, counsel and support throughout the lifespan of eateries in all sectors of hospitality. Concept, research, build and design to marketing, operations, recruitment and training. A proven track record in establishing commercially sound restaurants that stand the test of time.
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) 2010/11 states that 19% of the UK population suffer from some form of long-term disability (12m people). There are also an estimated 6 million carers. This does not include temporarily disabled people, their families, friends or unregistered carers.
According to the government’s Department of Work & Pensions, spend by disabled households in the UK is now £212bn per annum. http://www.govopps.co.uk/212bn-potential-business-in-purple-pound/
Business Disability Forum Infographic
Extra Costs Commission report said six in ten businesses surveyed said that they would benefit from better information about disabled people’s consumer habits and preferences. Perhaps because the same research shows that three quarters (75%) of disabled people and their families have left a shop or business because of poor customer service and a lack of disability awareness.
The British Hospitality Association reveals how venues could benefit from appealing to guests with disabilities as the average length of a hotel stay by someone with a disability is four nights.
For more information about Blue Badge Style, please contact PR Savvy:
Kate Warwick / firstname.lastname@example.org / 078 1069 7282 / @prsavvy