The UK government is set to hire a new food and drink disability champion to educate customers on accessibility issues in restaurants and pubs.

The new champion will join the 14 existing champions hired for other sectors such as hotels, airports, retail, media, advertising and tourism.

The champion will be responsible for addressing accessibility issues faced by people with disabilities across restaurants and bars and will focus on working with foodservice operators to raise awareness on enhancing access and customer service, as well as staff training, reported The Caterer.

The government is looking for an expert in the food and drink industry for this post to drive progress.

“The food and drink industry must ensure it is capitalising on the spending power of disabled people and their households.”

UK minister for disabled people, health and work Sarah Newton was quoted by the news website as saying: “There are nearly 14 million disabled people living in the UK, and just like everyone else they enjoy going out to eat and drink as a way of socialising with friends.

“But poor access and customer service often mean disabled people might just choose to stay at home instead.

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“The food and drink industry must ensure it is capitalising on the spending power of disabled people and their households, the Purple Pound, worth £249bn every year.”

The government will also hire a disability champion for five more sectors in fashion, technology, countryside and heritage, website accessibility, and product design industries.