A restaurant in Tokyo’s Toyosu district is raising awareness about dementia is a unique way. Called “The Restaurant of Order Mistakes” (a pun on the novel The Restaurant of Many Orders), this pop-up establishment exclusively hires elderly people with dementia for their wait staff.
Instead of worrying about incorrect orders, the restaurant embraces any discrepancies that might happen. And regardless of whether the waiter delivers the correct meal, each customer is sure to enjoy their dining experience.
One customer at this pop-up, which ran from June 2 to June 4, was food blogger Mizuho Kodo. Though she requested a hamburger, she received a plate of gyoza dumplings instead. Still, she claimed that the food quality and the friendly atmosphere made her meal a pleasant one.
The original purpose of this event was to make people aware that dementia patients can still be functional members of society. By making the possibility of a wrong order the charm point of the event, it removed the stigma from the interaction.
Additionally, many diners noted that the staff seemed cheerful and at ease in the no-pressure environment. The chance to speak with the staff changed many people’s perception of the disease.
The restaurant’s “trial run” was a success, and another pop-up event like this one is scheduled for September in commemoration of World Alzheimer’s Day. Maggie’s Tokyo, the company that sponsored the June event, is also set to sponsor the next one.
You might have missed this round, but all the food from the event looked delicious! Who knows, maybe a second successful run will lead to a permanent restaurant. In any case, the pop-up was an amazing opportunity and learning experience for both staff and customers. Would you visit a restaurant like this?