This Tokyo restaurant employs only people with dementia to serve customers

An unusual restaurant set up in the urban capital of Japan employs only waiting staff that suffer from dementia so customers’ orders are often mistaken.

“The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders”

Called the “Restaurant of Mistaken Orders”, customers coming into this pop-up Tokyo restaurant don’t always get what they ordered – not in the exact way they ordered them at least.

“You might order steak and get served gyoza (dumplings) instead”, a Tokyo resident told us on Instagram.

“The servers all suffer from dementia so customers’ orders are often mistaken.”

This happens often but there is never any offence taken as every mistaken order ends with a good laugh.

The restaurant is created to help raise awareness for dementia and promote better knowledge of how the disease affects people. It has been endorsed by Japan’s health ministry.

According to Mr Shiro Oguni who created the program, the idea for the “Restaurant of Mistaken Orders” was borne out of his realization that people living with dementia are so much more than what society thinks of them.

He said:

“Like everybody else, my awareness of dementia at first tended towards negative images of people who were ‘radically forgetful’ and ‘aimlessly wandering about.’ But actually, they can cook, clean, do laundry, go shopping and do other ‘normal’ things for themselves.”

Mr Oguni added:

“The restaurant is not about whether orders are executed incorrectly or not. The important thing is the interaction with people who have dementia.”

The 2019 pop-up restaurant was set up on March 3rd and 4th, at Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The restaurant had been set up in other places around Japan since its launch in 2017. According to the organizers, future events will be announced on the official website of the “Restaurant of Mistaken Orders”.

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