A “silent restaurant” owned by a deaf woman in Shaanxi has received an overwhelmingly positive response from diners for its great service. It’s described as a “silent” restaurant because around 80 percent of the workers there are deaf, Tencent News says.
The restaurant appears similar to other hotpot restaurants at first sight.
Upon entering, however, patrons will notice that the waiters and waitresses working there use body language and sign language to communicate with customers.
Gao Cuiping, head of the establishment, told reporters that it’s the first-ever “silent restaurant” to open. Among the 30 staff members there, 22 are deaf or hard of hearing.
Initially, workers were concerned about the communication barriers between deaf workers and customers. Yet, service has been running smoothly and the majority of customers express satisfaction with their experience there.
The restaurant’s manager, Liu Yanxia, is also deaf. Previous experience working at a hotel gave her the opportunity to train her deaf subordinates.
Before working, Liu does a routine inspection on the workers’ hygiene and appearance.
Investor Zhang Pingsheng told reporters that his original reasoning for opening the restaurant was to pave way for his deaf son and other deaf people seeking work. The idea came to him two years ago, and has so far been successful.
Customers don’t have trouble ordering food, and if they need service, they simply press the bell at the table and write down what they want. Waiters soon arrive to help.
A waitress’s service wins compliments from a customer and she gestures “Thank you”.
At the end of their meal, many customers walk away knowing few simple signing gestures that they learned from the workers.
By Lucy Liu
[ Images via Tencent News ]