Yesterday evening (Monday 29 August 2011), my mum, two aunts and my guide dog, Trigger popped into the Ying Wah Chinese Restaurant, in Woolton Village, Liverpool. My guide dog had on his distinctive harness which clearly identifies him as an assistance dog who are, under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equalities Act) allowed access to food premises including restaurants. Despite Trigger being clearly identifiable as a working guide dog the restaurant at first refused to admit me with him. Having explained that it is an offence, under the DDA/the Equalities Act not to permit access to working guide dogs we where, reluctantly shown to a corner table out of the way of other customers. One of the staff (I believe he may have been part of the family who own the restaurant) approached our table and said that he was unhappy that we where there as other customers might object to the presence of my guide dog. All four of us felt insulted and after a further exposition of the legal position an apology was forthcoming from the restaurant’s owners and a free bottle of wine was provided.
While we all enjoyed the sweet and sour pork, the duck pancakes, prawn crackers and other dishes we where, at the same time deeply shocked by the attitude of the restaurn’s owners. Whether the owners offered the wine as a genuine apology or to avoid an unpleasant atmosphere in their premises I have no way of knowing, however the lack of knowledge as regards the admitance of guide dogs to restaurants (real or otherwise) took my breath away. Throughout the meal Trigger lay quietly under the table and I am sure that the staff, in the Ying Wah have experienced problems with drunken patrons which would make a well behaved guide dog, such as Trigger blush!
I’d certainly recommend the food, in the Ying Wah, however the customer service requires to be improoved. You can find the Ying Wah at
11 Woolton Street, Woolton, L25 5NH