Why Aren’t There Any Servers in Wheelchairs?

May 11, 2019

Anonymous asks, quote:

Why don’t we see waiters/waitresses in wheelchairs? Like, why aren’t there disabled servers?

end quote.

You don’t see any wheelchair users as servers because of the requirements for the job: operating in tight spaces and being able to move while holding stuff in your hands. There are other skills required, of course, but these are the two that are strictly physical and can’t really be improved upon.

I have one of the narrowest wheelchairs around at just over two feet (0.6 meters) wide and I still struggle to navigate between tables at restaurants. And kitchen/backroom spaces in restaurants can also be really cramped so a wheelchair user would also struggle in those areas as well.

Then there’s the issue of mobility: wheelchair users can’t hold something large in their hands and keep it balanced, especially something as large as a serving tray. A power‐chair user could hold one thing, but they would still run into the same space/sizing issues that a manual chair user.

There’s also the issue of cleanliness: the wheels touch the floor, the staff memeber’s hands touch the wheels, and those same hands carry your food.

Now, despite all of this, are there servers that use a chair? Possibly, but I’ve never seen any. I think that the job requirements make it difficult for most wheelchair users to fill the position.