After learning the various aspects of hospitality law, our group was excited to go behind the scenes of a restaurant and hotel to put our knowledge to use. We carefully reviewed the checklists given to make sure all topics were inspected and all compliance issues were noted. All group members attended at least one site visit and were able to gain first-hand knowledge from this informative experience. We decided to visit an Outback Steakhouse to inspect for the ADA Checklist and a local Quality Inn for the Hospitality Facilities Safety and Security Checklist. Managers at both locations were very knowledgeable and provided a great deal of information for many topics on the checklists. We will first start off with our experience at the restaurant, and the hotel visit report will follow. Restaurant Site Visit: Outback Steakhouse
Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 has guaranteed civil rights protections for persons with disabilities since its implementation in June of 1992. There are two parts to the ADA. The first part or Title I, enforced by the EEOC, protects employees or applicants with disabilities. Another part and the main focus of our review is Title III enforced by US Department of Justice which is designed to protect customers with disabilities. The ADA requirements differ based on the when a hotel was opened or renovated. Restaurants built after 1993 or did major renovation after 1992 must meet strict accessibility standard or be readily accessible. Restaurants that were built prior to 1993 are required to remove any barriers that may prevent access for the disabled, but changes are to be made as “readily achievable.”
Outback steakhouse is an Australian restaurant. This international chain restaurant prides itself on the casual/family style dining, quality food, affordable price and generous portions. The particular location we visited is located at 2145 Lavista Road in Atlanta, GA. Although the restaurant is located in a front section of a shopping plaza, it sits on an ample piece of land with plenty of parking spaces. Our group selected this restaurant because one of our team members works at this restaurant. The restaurant management was very willing and cooperative in allowing us to visit the establishment.
The objective of our visit to the Outback was to identify problems that may be related accessibility and provide our findings to management that may aid in preparation of the actual ADA inspection. Our appraisal process was aided by the checklist provided by our professor. As such, we will follow the format of the checklist and consider the need of the disabled customer when going through this review. Building access:
The first thing that caught our attention is the visibility of the restaurant with the big Outback Steakhouse sign that is visible from the main street (LaVista Road). As I mentioned above, the restaurant has ample parking spaces with 4 dedicated wheelchair parking spaces. Each wheelchair accessible parking space was more than 96 inch wide and the designated space next it was at least 60 inch. We had a measurement of 64 inches on some of the spaces. The designated parking spaces were the closest to the restaurant and there was a “drop off” zone with a ramp entrance for wheelchair access. Adding to the easy access, the pavement to the door/entrance of the restaurant was in a very good smooth condition free of small pot holes or bumps. The doorway was more than 32 inches measuring at 33.1 inches. The door handle is a curved rod that is easy to open. Although the door is wooden, it was light and easy to open. The lightness of the door was demonstrated by chance for us as some small children were entering the restaurant and the ease of how they opened the door. We also noticed the hostess holding the door open for patrons that were entering or leaving the restaurant. Although this was not specific to disable customers, the welcoming feel may make someone who needs...
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