New Restaurant Dedicated to Employing Deaf Waiters & Waitresses

 

If you walk into Toronto’s new restaurant, Signs, you’ll think it’s just like any other restaurant in town. But you’ll change your mind soon enough once you’re asked to use American Sign Language (ASL) and sign your order to your deaf waiter or waitress. Yup, you read that correctly. In an effort to help increase job opportunities for the deaf community and provide a learning experience for customers, Signs encourages non-deaf customers to adapt to a deaf environment.

Just yesterday, we came across a Chinese student who was denied entry into college because her disability prevented her from passing a physical exam. Unfortunately, this is just one of the few obstacles that a handicapped individual may face. Recognizing this, Indian Canadian restaurant owner Anjan Manikumar has decided to take action and provide opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable for handicapped communities such as the deaf community.

The restaurant,which opened just last month on July 31, emphasizes its fun and novel methods to order.Not fluent in sign language? Well, don’t worry. The restaurant offers a “cheat book” which contains popular phrases used in restaurants as well as instructions on how to sign menu options. Of course, you can always just point to what you want, but where’s the fun in that?

 

 

Anjan Manikumar got the idea while working as a manager at a Boston Pizza in Markham. He served a deaf customer who could only point to what he wanted on the menu.

“I felt he wasn’t getting the service he deserved,” Manikumar told The National. He wasn’t getting the personal touch.”

He decided to learn American Sign Language, much to the delight of his deaf customer who quickly became “a regular.” Manikumar was inspired by the experience and wanted a restaurant that not only encourages non-deaf customers to learn sign language, but also provides job opportunities to the deaf community in a workforce they wouldn’t otherwise be able to work in.

“Providing them an opportunity here is something that they deserve,” said Manikumar. “And they’re very talented, every one of them.”

The most recent data on deaf unemployment in Canada points out 37.5% of deaf Canadians are unemployed and the high number is mainly due to “insensitive work environments.”

Luckily, Signs has already hired 50 deaf employees less than a month after its grand opening.

Mehdi Safavi is one of the waiters at Signs who admits this job is his first full-time job. “It’s wonderful. I’m so excited to be here,” he told The National. “It’s a deaf environment where hearing people can come in and experience our world and our culture. It’s amazing.”

 

 

MUST SEE: Japan Gives Us a Glimpse of Advanced Technology Restaurants in the Future

There is simply no denying that our advances in technology will continue to progress. In fact, we have made so much progress in recent years that we like to hypothesize what the future may look like.

We did this with the movie Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson. The film has received widespread critical acclaim and praise. The appeal to the movie? A man falls in love with an operating system. This may seem impossible, but as it turns out, this may not be so unheard of after all. Japan, who is often known to be ahead of the game when it comes to technology, is already close to achieving this.

Japanese netizens are not in love with an operating system just yet. Instead, some are convinced that they are in love with a virtual girlfriend found in a video game. As you can see, Her isn’t that extreme after all.

Aside from virtual machines that we may grow to love, Japan has looked into various ways that our future may look like on an average day. In this video, a Tokyo-based tech company gives us a glimpse of what a restaurant may look like in the future.

Surprisingly, the woman in the video doesn’t have to actually interact with another human being. She can view the menu from her phone, touch the options in front of her and pay from her phone as well.

Although the idea of such advanced technology seems daunting, the things shown in this video aren’t too unrealistic. In fact, this seems like a perfectly plausible future restaurant. Of course, this may make it even more scary.

Watch the video below and tell us what you think.

 

“未来レストラン”へようこそ 〜 3/27 未来をカタチにする、スマートデバイス体験イベント from Recruit Tech. ATL on Vimeo.

Audrey’s Top Restaurant Pick: Hakkasan

Story by Anna M. Park.

Dining at Hakkasan Beverly Hills, the newest location of the esteemed Michelin-star Cantonese restaurant that opened in London in 2001, is not so much dinner as it is an event. Walk past the crowd of paparazzi, there every night, into a labyrinthine interior cloaked in sexy, moody lighting and electronic dance music. For almost every offering, two servers are required, whether it’s the Smoky Negroni cocktail with its post-pour infusion of woodsy smoke from a decanter, or the Hakka Steamed Dim Sum Platter (one dumpling with squid ink) and its variety of tasty sauces.

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On a menu helmed by the Michelin-star chef Ho Chee Boon, the Crispy Duck Salad is a must-try and a good introduction to that lesser known bird. For true duck lovers, the Black Truffle Roasted Duck is almost an embarrassment of riches with its sizable slivers of black truffle atop perfectly crisped duck skin, a thin layer of fatty goodness, and then tender, juicy meat. If you’re not a fan of poultry, try the Grilled Seabass with Chinese Honey, a succulent alternative, or the Roasted Silver Cod with Champagne, a favorite among the wait staff. Skip the noodles altogether — everything is so rich and juicy and fatty (and the portions are hardy), you don’t need any carbs; just a veggie side dish should do. In fact, a couple of Shiso Gimlets and Black Sesame Crémeux with Yuzu Ice Cream for dessert offers a much needed palate cleanser to offset all that decadence.

Details Hakkasan.com/beverlyhills/

 

This story was originally published in our Winter 2013-14 issue. Get your copy here