10 days ago

'Restaurant of Mistaken Orders': Where you may not get the food you ordered

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Imagine walking into a restaurant in Japan and ordering some food, but they can't guarantee that you'll get what you ordered. Sounds crazy, right? 

This might be the case because you're at Restaurant of Mistaken Orders, a limited-period popup restaurant where all the waiting staff are dementia patients based in Tokyo, Japan. 

This restaurant is not your typical place to eat. So what sets this restaurant apart from the countless other sophisticated and chic restaurants? 

In this restaurant, most of the servers and waitpersons are elderly and have dementia. Even though they frequently provide incorrect orders, customers never complain and always smile and laugh, which expresses a deeper understanding. It's more than just a restaurant.

Shiro Oguni, the restaurant's founder, wanted to create a unique restaurant that would raise awareness about disabilities and encourage people to experience what it's like to communicate with someone with a disability. The restaurant aims to create a fun and interactive experience that helps break down barriers and promote inclusivity.

As you approach the restaurant, you'll be struck by the cosy atmosphere and the tantalising aroma of Japanese comfort food. 

It has a very minimal yet modern interior. Even if you don't get what you ordered, the warm welcome from friendly servers will fill your heart with joy. 

It has a lively atmosphere. This restaurant offers such a heartfelt experience to its guests that it creates an everlasting memory for them.

Japan will have the fastest-growing prevalence of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a subtype of dementia in which the brain cells die, leading to decreased memory and mental abilities that worsen over time. 

The disease is irreversible and has no cure. The general public frequently misinterprets them. 

People believe they can't do anything for themselves, often leading to complete isolation from society. But that's not what Oguni and the restaurant's creators believe, and that's precisely the goal of this popup: creating a feeling of open-mindedness and acceptance to spread awareness about dementia and hopefully lower the social stigma around it.

The restaurant aims to create a fun and interactive experience for customers. The unique experience of dining at the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders has become a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. 

Customers interact with workers and enjoy the food that's been served. Elderly waiters and waitresses wearing white aprons are embarrassedly apologising to customers for their wrong serving. Even if you won't have the food you desire, the restaurant ensures that every dish served is delicious. Besides, customers prioritise a memorable experience over the food they eat. 

The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders gained international attention after a video about it went viral on social media. The footage depicted customers' reactions to receiving incorrect orders and their interactions with staff. 

99 per cent of clients were satisfied with their experiences, even if their staff misplaced 37 per cent of orders, according to their video. According to the restaurant's official website, it has won one of the world's most prestigious creative awards, the Cannes Lion.

One of the main reasons for opening such a restaurant in Japan was to raise disability awareness and promote inclusion. By creating a space where people with disabilities can work and thrive, the restaurant is helping to break down barriers and change perceptions. 

The founder hopes the restaurant will inspire other businesses to hire people with disabilities and create more opportunities for them.

Now that the popup restaurant has completed its trial run, they are preparing for another similar event to commemorate World Alzheimer's Day on September 21. The restaurant also offers training programs for businesses and organisations to learn about disability inclusion and communication. 

By expanding its reach, the restaurant hopes to have an even more significant impact on promoting inclusivity and changing perceptions about disabilities.

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