Tokyo’s ‘Restaurant of Order Mistakes’ Employs Servers With Dementia
A new pop-up restaurant in Tokyo has a very unusual concept: They’ve hired only waiters with dementia, and everyone goes into the restaurant knowing there’s a good chance their order will be wrong.
According to Bored Panda, the pop-up is called The Restaurant of Order Mistakes, and it was located inside Maggie’s Tokyo, the Japanese version of the UK’s Maggie’s Centers, which are support centers for cancer patients and their families. From June 2 through June 4, however, Maggie’s Tokyo temporarily turned into the Restaurant of Order Mistakes.
The point of the pop-up restaurant was to raise awareness of dementia and to change the way people think about and relate to dementia patients. When a waiter in a regular restaurant mixes up an order, it can be an annoyance. But at the Restaurant of Order Mistakes, everyone knows going in that an order mistake is likely, and customers take that sort of mix-up in stride. It's a similar concept to Hugs Cafe in Texas, which employs staff with mental and developmental disabilities to help them have a sense of purpose and contributing to their environment, while also raising awareness of people with special needs.
Food blogger Mizuho Kudo attended one of the dinners at the Restaurant of Order Mistakes, and she wrote that she ordered a hamburger, but received a plate of dumplings instead. The dumplings were delicious, though.
— 工藤瑞穂（soar編集長） (@mimimizuho) June 4, 2017
The restaurant was a success, and the servers reportedly seemed to really enjoy the experience. Maggie’s Tokyo says it was such a success that they will be hosting a similar pop-up in September for World Alzheimer’s Day.