The Kitchentina - food guide

7 Must Try Restaurants Which Are ‘Different’ But ‘Abled’ for GOOD!

3rd December of each year is celebrated as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We often forget about those who aren’t as normal as us perhaps a bit more talented than us. When one is born with a disability or gets disabled for some reason, life has to go on; turning disability  into a unique ability is the only way out.

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After all the smartest man on the Earth is Sir Stephen Hawkings. Need I say more?

Restaurants are one of the busiest service providers. What if restaurants hire people who have superpowers? Superpowers to astonish and amaze you with their flawless service just like the normal staff in usual restaurants? Here are some restaurants that are a must try that have differently-abed workforce:

  • Echoes:

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    A brainchild of five twenty-something promoters, Echoes, is a fairly young restaurant located in SatyaNiketan, New Delhi. For minimizing errors the team Echoes believes in “Listen with your eyes, talk with your hands, that’s the mantra for everyone in the cafe,” says Shivansh Kanwar one of the promoters of the cafe.

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For streamlining service besides each table, there is a switch which lights up to indicate wait staff that the customer needs their assistance. Along with this on arrival customer is given a notepad, pen, a cue card book and menu. For things like water etc. the customer needs to turn the cue card and show. While for placing the order, the customer needs to write the code number with their preference like make it very spicy, less spicy etc. and the food is served perfectly.

Inputs Courtesy: Indianexpress.com  Photo Courtesy: www.facebook.com/stargazerechoes

  • Mirchi & Mime, Mumbai:

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This is not just any another restaurant but a restaurant with fine dining set up and a strong workforce of 20+ team members that are hearing & speech impaired The customers need to indicate by pointing towards the menu for placing the order from the menu. Along with the menu is an attached gesture glossary for the petit instructions like salt, pepper, spoon etc. The food dishes are served with a small name tag for the sake of clear understanding. A chin tap from the right hand is all that it takes to show appreciation at Mirchi & Mime.

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Prashant Issar and Anuj Shah owners of this fine dining restaurant insist on celebrating the talent of their special staff rather than focussing on their disability which is a benevolent thought. 

Inputs Courtesy: TheHindu.com Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/Mirchi-and-Mime-105779136421060/

  • Hearken Cafe, New Delhi:

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Hearken is the youngest kid on the block in this category of special restaurants & cafes. Started about a fortnight back it is still in its most receptive teething stage. Currently, they have all hearing impaired employees as wait staff who take orders from customers in writing. 

For customer convenience sake there are signs for dishes on the menu which makes it easier for guests and employees to communicate . Also, there are gesture signs from A-Z on the wall which also aid in better & easy communication. However, Virat Suneja, co-founder, still feels that the staff is still learning the hospitality traits.

  • Dialogue in the Dark Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai & Raipur:

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Started with its Hyderabad branch, Dialogue in the Dark is a unique concept restaurant not just because it has specially-abled people but the restaurant takes the guests a real-time feel of a blind person’s world.  As you enter the world the staff is there to take you inside the pitch dark restaurant.

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It is certainly not easy for a normal person with eyes to traverse inside the restaurant, however, the staff can easily do the same as they are actually blind people. Eating food seems trivial as compared to this one of kind experience in darkness. Being at this restaurant the guests are the ones who actually feel challenged!

Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/DialogueInTheDarkRaipur/ & facebook.com/pages/Dialogue-in-the-Dark-Bangalore/780152465378154/

  • Sheroes Hangout – Agra, Udaipur, Lucknow:

09oct2016_023320These cafes are special as they are run by acid-attack survivors. There is only one thing that resonates n the environment of this chain of restaurants is ‘ the motivation to make the most in life at any point. ‘

14633306_1021472357974568_1834706136574625889_oTea, snacks, free wi-fi & books are offered at the restaurant which was started as a collaborative effort between survivors and Chhanv Foundation. Words fall short to describe this place!

Photo & Inputs Courtesy: trendingmirror.com & facebook.com/pg/SheroesHangout

  • KFC:

kfc-special-store-1KFC currently has about 170+ specially-abled employees at 20 restaurants across India. KFC has partnered with different organizations in different cities, who train the managers and interpreters at these restaurants. Employees of a special KFC are trained by respective store buddy trainers.

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With time KFC realized that there aren’t enough special needs schools in India and thus came up with the idea of ‘KFC Academy’. It is a fully sponsored program for about 11 weeks in which the deaf youth are taught English and critical skills for employment in the retail and hospitality sector.

Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/KFCIndia

  • Nukkad the Teafe, Raipur:

    1005077_10200648127179960_116748039_nIt is a unique tea cafe that serves families & youth alike for past three and half years over varieties of tea and tasteful food options. The thing that makes them special is a super team of 10+ deaf & mute staff members at various roles from management to service and making a dignified earning.

10933766_892990724064717_2634243686993103539_nOther than this Nukkad Teafe has innovative deals running at the cafe like #DIgital Detox – A discount deal to guest on depositing cell phones with us till the time they are at Nukkad. #Gyaandaan – A book exchange scheme, #Tea&Tones – free space to budding poets, #BillbyDil – Anniversary day is a bill free day where no bills are produced instead  an empty envelop in which any amount of money cab be kept in.

Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/NukkadTheTeafe/

Apart from the restaurants like these, there are many organizations who are working towards increasing the employability of differently-abled people. Radio Mirchi provides audio support ad entertainment & give music education to the blind and visually impaired friends. They have also done the first braille menu of Delhi & the first ever all-inclusive restaurant menu for the blind in Mumbai.

Been to any of these restaurants, do write back.

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