As a restaurant owner, you may be wondering why it is important for your website to be accessible. After all, as long as people can find your restaurant and see your menu, what matters? However, there are actually several reasons why accessibility is important for restaurant websites. Let’s take a quick look at three primary reasons why accessibility matters for restaurants.
- Accessibility Helps You Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including websites. While the ADA does not specifically mention websites, the Department of Justice has stated that businesses including restaurants must ensure that their websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities in order to comply with the ADA.
There are many instances where restaurants large and small have been confronted with website accessibility claims that have had a substantial negative impact on the business. For example, the Whisper Lounge in Los Angeles was sued in 2018 by a woman who is blind because she was unable to read the menu or make a reservation online and is now permanently closed. Domino’s Pizza was also sued in 2016 for lack of accessibility.
- Accessible Websites Help You Reach a Wider Audience
Making your website accessible doesn’t just benefit individuals with disabilities; it also helps you reach a wider audience in general. For example, if your website is accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, it is also likely to be more usable for people who are not visually impaired but may have difficulty reading small text or navigating complex websites. By making your website accessible to as many people as possible, you can reach a larger audience and potentially increase your customer base.
- Accessible Websites Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
In addition to helping you reach a wider audience, making your website accessible can also improve your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google use crawlers to scan and index websites so they can be included in search results. These crawlers are designed to mimic how humans access and use websites; however, they often have difficulty accessing websites that are not designed with accessibility in mind. As a result, making your website more accessible can help improve your search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find your restaurant online.
There are several reasons why it is important for restaurant websites to be accessible. From complying with the ADA to improving your search engine rankings, accessibility can benefit your business in many ways.
Luckily there are easy and cost effective options to help your small business achieve website accessibility compliance. A great place to start is an accessibility tool for your website such as AllAccessible. It is also important to discuss website accessibility with your web developer to make sure you are addressing the issue.