Disability Issues

Jersey Mike's Subs offers braille menu for visually impaired

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On a suggestion from a customer who is blind, a sandwich shop in Chicago  part of a nationwide chain -- added braille menus. The company is hoping the other 750 stores will follow.

Located in the Streeterville area, Jersey Mike's sub sandwich shop became the first to offer braille menus to customers who are blind.

General Manager David Wood got the idea when he went to assist one of them.

"After talking to her for a few minutes, she said how much easier her life would be if more restaurants around here would have braille menu options," Wood said. "I presented the idea to corporate office after I spoke with the customer to use that as an opportunity to give back to the community, which is one our core values here at Jersey Mike's."

Jersey Mike's has been around for 56 years. They have 35 locations in the Chicago area and are expected to grow to 100. All stores are franchises.

"Our mission statement is pretty simple. It's, "Making a difference in someone's life," said Dan Shanahan, an area director. "We like to make people happy."

The first braille menu arrived in late November. Terry Gorman worked on the menu.

"It's the same as a real menu. Sometimes, in a braille menu that's long, you might do a contents side. So, [the] person can turn the pages and figure out where things are more quickly, but yes, it really is the same as a menu, as a print menu," said Gorman.

After creating the braille menu, Gorman has become a regular at Jersey Mike's.

"When I come here, well, I like number 7. As soon as I saw the word 'fat free' in the item that was the turkey provolone, they use fat free turkey, I sort of jumped at that," said Gorman.

"I would hope other Jersey Mike's and other restaurants around there would like to implement that idea as well because I feel everybody should be given the opportunity to, you know, figure out on their own what they would like to eat, where they would like to eat," said Wood.

The owners of Streeterville Jersey Mike's are opening another one in the south Loop next month.

For more information go to www.jerseymikes.com.

Chicago location:
203 E. Ohio Street

There are a number of restaurants that offer braille menus.

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