Seven of the 29 high-profile restaurant chains that were previously surveyed in 2001 through correspondence from the Commission were selected. These chains are: Country Style Donuts, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Subway, Swiss Chalet and Tim Hortons.
It was premised that an audit of four sites per chain, for a total of 28 sites across seven chains, would provide an indication of the nature of existing barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing restaurants in their community.
Completely inaccessible locations were avoided so that the auditors who use wheelchairs could access the premises to complete the balance of the accessibility audit.
A checklist was developed to identify critical accessibility indicators for different disabilities that would provide a quick, reliable and accurate assessment of restaurant facilities based on criteria from CSA Standard B651-M95 “Barrier Free Design” and with the Ontario Building Code (see Appendix III). It was applied only to the public areas of the restaurants audited and did not include areas used only by employees. Persons with disabilities conducted the assessment of sites.
The results of the accessibility audit of each of the 28 locations, set out in Appendix II, provide a review of the accessibility features and barriers that would impact the ability of customers with disabilities to access the facilities and services.
These results were shared with the seven respective chains in June 2003 to ascertain their plans and seek their commitments for achieving and ensuring accessibility in the future.