Launceston Gourmet Gold Ticket highlights inclusive restaurants

An inclusive restaurant means more than just a ramp and disability toilet.

New Horizons Club, as part of its Launceston Gourmet Gold Ticket fundraiser, aimed to highlight how restaurants can be inclusive for people of all abilities.

Speak Out advocate and New Horizon Club volunteer Dominique Vittori said, “People with disability are like everyone else.”

While they want to be read the menu and told the specials, they did not want to treated differently, he said.

His organisation created a chart to help restaurant and other service staff know how to interact with people of all abilities.

Tips included staff speaking directly to the person living with disability, instead of to their companion or carer, and remembering they are a customer like everyone else.

People of all abilities just wanted to be able to enjoy their night out with respectful and helpful staff, Mr Vittori said.

His daughter Sidonie Vittori and her housemate and Jarret Green enjoy dining out about twice a week at different venues.

“They go out more than I do,” he said.

Ms Vittori said she enjoyed dressing up and dining out.

She has also spent time on the other side of the counter during the past couple of years, including working at Fitzies Cafe.

Mr Green said he wanted to be treated like everyone else.

Cataract on Paterson owner Karen Burbury said she made sure all staff were trained to serve people of all abilities with respect.

Everyone expected to feel included in the experience, which was one of the reasons people chose to dine out, Ms Burbury said.

“I don’t see any difference for [people living with disability],” she said.

Waitstaff were trained until they were comfortable and confident interacting with people of all abilities, Ms Burbury said.

It is the second Launceston Gourmet Gold Ticket Draw, which gives participants a chance to win an all inclusive dining package for two from Black Cow Bistro, Geronimo, Henry’s, Cataract on Paterson, Terrace Restaurant or the Clarendon Arms.

The draw works similarly to a raffle, although every $5 ticket also becomes a redeemable $5 voucher at the Trevallyn Grocer for purchases above $30.

Ticket sales close on August 30 and winners are drawn on September 1.