By Angela Green, Content Executive, H&C News: Whitbread commit to Hidden Disabilities Sunflower this Purple Tuesday.
To mark this year’s Purple Tuesday on Tuesday, November 1, Whitbread is committing to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. the movement striving to improve customer experience for disabled people and their families.
The pledge is part of Whitbread’s diversity and inclusion programme under its Force for Good corporate social responsibility scheme which commits to creating opportunities for teams and guests, giving back to local communities and operating responsibly.
Whitbread is signing up to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, which enables people with invisible disabilities to discreetly indicate they may need additional support, help or a little more time with their transaction – such as checking in or ordering a drink or meal.
Recognising that without a visual cue, it can be difficult for people – including those working in hospitality – to identify, acknowledge, or understand the daily barriers faced by people living with an invisible disability, the Sunflower cleverly allows guests to choose to wear a lanyard featuring the Sunflower logo to indicate they may need extra assistance.
Non-visible disabilities can be physical, mental or neurological and include, but are not limited to, autism, cognitive impairments such as learning difficulties and dementia, as well as mental health conditions, speech or visual impairments or hearing loss. They also include respiratory and chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic pain and even sleep disorders.
In addition to delivering the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower training across its 30,000 team members to understand and recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, Whitbread will also be displaying information in its hotels and restaurants across the UK, showing it is a ‘Sunflower-friendly’ business.
Simon Ewins, Managing Director for Premier Inn and Restaurants and the Executive Sponsor for Disability Inclusion: “We are delighted to be the hospitality sector sponsor for Purple Tuesday and launch the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in our hotels and restaurants across the UK.
“We’re proud to welcome millions of disabled customers, as well as people with long-term health conditions, to our hotels and restaurants across the UK every year. True inclusion never stands still – it’s a commitment that continually evolves and we are always looking for ways to improve our guest experience, which is why we’re so proud to be part of the global network.
“As an inclusive employer we also know it’s an initiative that will inspire our team members, some of course who themselves have disabilities, and we are therefore really looking forward to getting our restaurants teams as well as our very own ‘purple people’ behind Purple Tuesday both on the day itself and year-round.”