Getting the wrong order at a restaurant can be frustrating. Yet, one restaurant in Tokyo decided to take that mild annoyance and turn it into something beautiful.
At the Restaurant of Order Mistakes, you might never get your order right. That’s because the wait staff is comprised of dementia patients.
Servers will take your order and get it to the kitchen, but somewhere along the line it might be forgotten. The idea is that customers know about this possibility and come in with the expectation that while they might not get exactly what they ordered, they will still get something delicious.
This sweet concept not only gives elderly dementia patients something to do and a way to enjoy themselves but also provides customers with a dining experience full of surprises. Mizuho Kudo, a Japanese food blogger, visited the restaurant and tweeted about her own order mistake.
She had ordered a hamburger but instead received gyoza dumplings. She took the mix-up as a pleasant surprise and reported that she not only enjoyed her meal but the company of those that served her.
According to Google translate, the tweet reads: “Junya-kun gave her a hamburger steak for her grandmother, but a gyoza came outstandingly and laughed a lot (laughter) lol”
Another guest, interviewed by Yahoo Japan, reported that she got exactly what she ordered. She joking said that she was even a little upset about that.
The restaurant was opened as a short term pop-up, running from June 2 – 4. It aimed at changing the perception of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as bring awareness to their conditions.
The Restaurant of Order Mistakes, which derives its name from the title of a play from a Japanese story called “The Restaurant of Many Orders,” was a collaborative effort. One of the sponsors was Maggie’s Tokyo, a non-profit organization and help center for people with cancer, within which the restaurant was located.
Other workers, which included Mr. Oguni Akira, a director of a television station, volunteered to work. To him, it was important to show that dementia patients might not be able to do everything, but they also don’t need to be taken care of like children.
According to Asia One, some naysayers have cited concerns that the restaurant was exploiting patients and “making fun of them and their problems.” Overall, however, many enjoyed the unique experience and saw it as a celebration of inclusiveness.
The restaurant, despite its short run was successful. Maggie’s Tokyo is already planning to reopen the restaurant for World Alzheimer’s Day in September.