Restaurant Tips

Restaurant Training Tips

Managers

  • Inform your staff that April is Autism Awareness Month
  • Hold a meeting and give all staff a Fact Sheet about autism.
  • Explain to servers and other restaurant staff ways to make the restaurant autism friendly.
  • Distribute Autism Awareness ribbons, pins, stickers or temporary tattoos for staff to wear during April to show support for autism awareness.

Hosts

  • Many people with autism have difficulty waiting long periods of time for something. It is important to give families the most accurate “wait time” possible if a table is not ready.
  • If you have both booth seating and chairs, ask what is preferred. If one works better than the other for a family, this gives them to opportunity to tell you.

Servers

  • Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there is a broad range of skill levels that a person could have. Some people with autism are either unable to speak or use an alternative method to communicate. When taking orders for the table, ask the rest of the family first. If a family member does not order for the person with autism then ask the person directly.
  • If the restaurants can be loud and overwhelming. If you notice a person with autism acting out or having a difficult time, try and be in view of the family so they can easily ask you for a check if they need to make a quick exit. 

Families

  • The more you go out and make memories and enjoy events like a family dinner at a restaurant, the more you will be part of your community.
  • If you know something like a seating preference or having food on the table asap will make a difference, than never be afraid to ask.

Useful Links

To The Woman And Child Who Sat At Table
Blog Post from the perspective of a Restaurant Manager

Understanding Autism:  Restaurant Meltdowns
ASHA Blog

Going Out to Eat
Autism Speaks - Tips for families to help prepare for a fun evening.

Acknowledgement

Thanks to our friend, Alex Abend, former Junior Autism Awareness Ambassador for helping to make restaurants more autism friendly and for spearheading an Autism Family Night out initiative. 

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