Tao Group Hospitality is committed to a more inclusive dining experience for all guests and is now the first international hospitality group to invest in sensory inclusion training for their team members. The majority of the US and UK-based restaurants in the group’s portfolio will have staff fully trained to accommodate all guests and special “sensory bags” available to help make every guest’s experience an enjoyable one beginning April 1, 2022, coinciding with the start of Autism Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month. Most restaurants will also feature Autism Awareness Month specials.
What We’re Doing
This initiative was completed in partnership with KultureCity, the nation’s leading nonprofit working on sensory accessibility and will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with sensory issues including individuals with autism, anxiety, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to the sensory inclusion trainings, each restaurant will also provide guests with “sensory bags” containing noise reducing headphones, fidget tools and non-verbal communication cards that can help lessen sensory overload.
This April also marks Tao Group Hospitality’s 7th year supporting autism awareness, annually celebrated by turning each restaurant’s signature desserts and specialty cocktails blue and providing significant donations to local and national autism-focused charities. This year Chef Ralph Scamardella, Tao Group Hospitality’s Chief Culinary Officer, was honored by Autism Speaks for his leadership, partnership and philanthropy in support of the autism community.
“One in four individuals in the US has a sensory need or invisible disability and they are an underserved community. This is why Autism awareness and sensory inclusion has been an important cause to me and Tao Group Hospitality,” said Chef Ralph Scamardella, “We hope this initiative makes every one of our restaurants more welcoming to all.