When most people go out for a meal, they want reliable service and to get exactly what they ordered off the menu. But at The Restaurant of Order Mistakes in Japan, you go in knowing that what you get might not be quite right. And the customers are perfectly fine with that.
So what makes this pop-up restaurant in Tokyo’s Toyosu district so unique? They’ve only hired waiters with dementia – people who would normally have a difficult time getting a job.
The concept of the restaurant was to hire wait staff with dementia who may get your order wrong, in the hopes of creating more awareness for dementia.
All customers are aware of this unfront going into the restaurant. And by knowing this, it changes the customers perception and understanding of a condition that affects more than 46 million people around the world.
The pop-up restaurant 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.
Eating there requires some patience and understanding, but at the heart of the experience, customers could see that people with dementia can still be functioning members of society.
One food blogger visited the restaurant and said she had a great time. Mizuho Kudo said that when she went, she had originally ordered a hamburger – but ended up being served gyoza dumplings instead.
She didn’t mind though. ‘I’m fine dumplings came and had a good laugh,’ she tweeted. And the dumplings turned out to be delicious nonetheless. Kudo said the real treat of the experience was that the waiters were full of smiles and seemed to be having a great time.
It was on a trial period from 2nd the 4th June, with the name of the restaurant is a clever take on the book The Restaurant of Many Orders.
Now that the trial period is over, there are plans for another pop-up restaurant to be launched in September to commemorate World Alzheimer’s Day, which is 21st September.