The Japanese restaurant that only employs wait staff with dementia

2 min readJul 16, 2018


A wonderful example of how you can turn an apparent negative into a positive.

Currently, there are nearly 50 million people worldwide suffering from dementia and this figure is on the increase.

For countries like Japan, with a rapidly ageing population, it has become a particularly challenging problem for society.

Like many illnesses, the public understanding of it is generally poor and this only adds to the confusion when trying to find appropriate ways to tackle the issue.

Thankfully, a pop-up restaurant in Tokyo with the charming name ‘The Restaurant of Order Mistakes’ is attempting to redress the balance.

By only employing wait staff with dementia the creators of the concept wanted to demonstrate that people with the condition are much more capable than people think.

Of course, as the name implies, there were some mistakes.

One lady who ordered a hamburger received gyoza dumplings instead but said the food was excellent and served with smiles and enthusiasm which more than made up for her order error.

The event is the brainchild of a number of television, advertising, and restaurant industry executives wanting to highlight and help tackle a serious issue.

It is a brilliant example of ‘framing’ in that it artfully turns what, at first hand, appears to be a negative into a positive.

A similar thought was behind the restaurant group Dans Le Noir which employees blind people to raise awareness of this disability by giving diners a unique sensory experience of eating in the dark.

Here’s to the next wave of creative thinkers coming up with similarly brilliant ways to highlight the cause of other illnesses and disabilities.




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