37% of orders were mistaken, but 99% of customers were happy.
January 10, 2022 10:54 AM   Subscribe

The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders (Japan): All of our servers are people living with dementia. They may, or may not, get your order right. However, rest assured that even if your order is mistaken, everything on our menu is delicious and one of a kind. This, we guarantee. Street Roots gives the history of how Japanese journalist Shiro Oguni got the idea for the pop-up restaurant when he visited a dementia care facility. The home, run by dementia care specialist Yukio Wada, treated residents with dignity and gave them opportunities to contribute to the daily routine via cooking. This charming 2 minute video shows the restaurant, happy customers, and waitstaff in action.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl (15 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
That's really wonderful.
posted by niicholas at 11:05 AM on January 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Started with the video, now will have to wait for cleared vision before reading the articles! I do have questions about how well this would work when there is tough family pride to overcome, but I really want it to work.
posted by TreeRooster at 11:06 AM on January 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

Absolutely fantastic. What a great post.
posted by micayetoca at 11:42 AM on January 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

It is good to be kind.
posted by y2karl at 11:44 AM on January 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thank you for this. It was much needed today. :)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:50 AM on January 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

OMG what a great post, thank you so much!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:35 PM on January 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

What a lovely idea, and some feel-good clips. Thanks, hurdy gurdy girl!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:08 PM on January 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Love this. Thank you. When people ask what a society organized around the ethics of care might look like in practice, I’m going to use this as one of my examples.
posted by CMcG at 2:19 PM on January 10, 2022 [7 favorites]

This is so wonderful. I want to eat in a place like this. So often when I place an order I wonder if I made the best choice. This would let me find out the best choice when it came to me.
posted by meinvt at 3:08 PM on January 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Oh lovely! So much joy and levity in that video.
posted by obfuscation at 3:44 PM on January 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

How beautiful. You can see the happiness on everyone's faces.
posted by rockyraccoon at 5:16 PM on January 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

What a great idea! So heartwarming.
posted by mkdirusername at 5:28 AM on January 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

One thing that I find stressful about restaurants is how sorry the servers are for any little issue. It's hard to convincingly communicate that you can really, honestly make mistakes or mess my stuff up and I'm not gonna get you in trouble and seriously it's totally fine! You're doing fine! I know other people are mean but I won't be mean!!!

So I would find this dining experience relaxing because that's customer patience is built into the model.

And of course the video is just so charming.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:08 AM on January 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

Would love to share an accidental meal here with Brian Eno. Lovely idea. Thanks for sharing.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 4:52 PM on January 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am so glad people have enjoyed the links! I first heard about this on the podcast No Such Thing as a Fish, and I was so taken with the idea that had to look it up.

One thing I have noticed with the people in my life who have had cognitive decline is the frustration with feeling not needed any more--feeling like they didn't have a purpose, or that people thought they were not capable anymore. So that is part of the reason I really like this idea: it models the philosophy that people with dementia are capable and that we should not sweat the small stuff. The food you'll get--even if it wasn't exactly what you ordered--will be delicious. The servers will do their best to get the right meal to you but they might mess up. We can respond with kindness if that happens.

I think it's very human to need a purpose in life, to feel wanted and needed. That doesn't disappear when someone gets older, or gets dementia. We could do this for more people if society had more ways to be inclusive like this restaurant.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:55 PM on January 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

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