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A total of 26 restaurant chains have now committed to the five steps towards accessibility. These restaurants are:

  1. Burger King
  2. Coffee Time Donuts
  3. Country Style Food Services Inc.
  4. Cultures Fresh Food Restaurants
  5. Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster)
  6. Druxy’s
  7. Great Canadian Bagel
  8. Harvey’s
  9. Java Joe’s
  10. Kelsey’s
  11. Kentucky Fried Chicken
  12. Montana’s Cookhouse and Milestones
  13. McDonald’s Restaurants
  14. Mr. Submarine
  15. Pizza Hut
  16. Pizza Pizza
  17. Pizzaville
  18. Second Cup
  19. Select Sandwich
  20. Starbucks Coffee Canada
  21. Subway Franchise Systems of Canada
  22. Swiss Chalet
  23. Taco Bell
  24. Tim Hortons (TDL Group)
  25. Timothy’s World Coffee
  26. Wendy’s Restaurants of Canada

The individual commitments and achievements of each of these restaurant chains are outlined in Appendix 1 to this Report.[7] Some best practices from the various restaurants are highlighted below.

Despite numerous requests and reminders, Java Joe’s failed to provide the OHRC with information regarding the steps it has taken to meet its commitments, providing only a brief letter indicating that it remained committed to accessibility, without further details. The OHRC was gravely disappointed by this response, and will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that Java Joe’s meets its commitments and takes steps to bring its premises into compliance with the Code.

On the whole, the OHRC was impressed by the commitment that the restaurants it contacted brought to addressing restaurant accessibility. There was, however, a wide range in the extent and nature of the initiatives these restaurants undertook, with some making a much more serious and substantial commitment to the issue than others.

The 26 restaurant chains represent a wide variety of sizes and business models. Some operate in freestanding “build-to-suit” premises, while others operate in leasehold premises. Some are mainly corporate owned, while others are mainly franchised. Some have mostly older locations, which may pose significant accessibility standards, while others are newer. Some are self-serve, others are take-out, and others provide sit-down dining. Some are very large; others are relatively small. All have made commitments to improving accessibility. This range indicates that all businesses can take steps towards improving accessibility, regardless of size or business model, although of course the nature and speed of the changes will vary.

The OHRC is pleased by the positive response it has received from the restaurant industry, and the commitment to real change that these restaurants have demonstrated. The OHRC believes that these initiatives can, over time, make a significant impact on the accessibility of the restaurant industry, and hopes that other restaurant chains that have not been a part of this initiative will follow the leadership of these restaurants and take steps to assess and improve their own accessibility.

[7] Please note that Second Cup is not included in Appendix 1. As Second Cup’s commitments were received late in 2005, Second Cup had not yet had an opportunity, at the time of this Report, to make substantial progress on those commitments.

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