Creating an access friendly ethos – Staff training at The Duke of York

*Shepherd Neame – The Duke of York, Borough, London *

Excellent customer service has been central to licensee Lorraine Hart’s goal to make the Duke of York accessible to all. The 19th century Shepherd Neame pub, located near to Borough Market, attracts a range of loyal customers including office and trade workers from the nearby London South Bank University.

The pub ethos is that the right staff attitude can a make a real difference to the customers experience. “We talk to our staff about making our customers feel welcome,” says Lorraine. “We say, put yourself in their place; what would you think, how would you feel?”

They offer table service for customers who can’t move easily around the bar area. Staff also read out the menu and explain the chalk boards so that everyone has the same pleasant experience whether or not they can make it up to the bar.

There is a tiny step at the entrance, but otherwise physical access to the pub is good. Inside the bar, there are no stairs, no little steps, no nooks and crannies. There is also a fully equipped accessible toilet and staff keep a regular check to make sure the entrance to the toilet is kept clear at all times.

Lorraine’s top tip: “Make sure staff are well trained. Even if access within your business isn’t 100 per cent, you can overcome that if your staff are geared up and ready to assist.”