April 21, 2019
Latest News
European Union

Inclusive restaurant in China only employs deaf waiters (Feature)

Javier Castro Bugarin

Beijing, Apr 7 (efe-epa).- A restaurant in China's capital is offering opportunities to people that are hard-of-hearing by employing a team of deaf waiters who communicate with customers aided by guide cards.

With a look of concentration and a timid smile on her face, Cao Xueting goes about serving food to diners in a quiet but determined manner and when asked about the menu, he quickly directs customers to some colored cards.

"It was a friend who showed me this place. Here, there are always a lot of people and it is a very good business," 21-year-old Cao told EFE using sign language.

Located in the artistic 798 district in northeastern Beijing, "Forgive Barbecue" is one of the few restaurants in China with deaf waiters, who through these cards and simple facial expressions can work with ease.

Cao is part of a four-member team that carries out the work typical of any restaurant: to attend, serve, charge for the service and clean up, all done through sign and body language.

The establishment opened its doors two summers ago, when its promoter Lu Lu decided to switch jobs from caring for children with special needs to launch a project that would include people with disabilities.

"In China, many children with disabilities do not find good jobs once they get older," Lul Lu told EFE.

"I decided to open the restaurant not to turn it into a sales phenomenon, but to help them build their psychology and give them a sense of belonging," she continued.

Before starting work, all the waiters - whose ages range from 20 to 30 - underwent several months of training where, in addition to learning day-to-day tasks, they also gained self-confidence.

From the ceiling hang posters with basic instructions on how to order food, ask for the bill and approach waiters, accompanied by drawings with the most basic gestures of sign language.

In the background, a wall is filled with hundreds of pink post-it notes containing suggestions on how to express gratitude for the food to how to convey messages of support, designed for the customers to initiate exchanges with the hard of hearing staff.

Behind the counter, dressed in black and with a panoramic view of the premises is 26-year-old Xing Fangyuan who is in charge of sorting out any difficulties should they arise between patrons and waiters.

"At first I didn't really know how to work with them, but I've been learning little by little," said Xing who learnt sign language before starting work as the restaurant supervisor.

As for the patrons, their faces range from initial perplexity to a growing sense of curiosity that eventually leads many, like Yang Feifei, to repeat the experience a second time.

"The dishes are very delicious and the service is excellent," said Yang, 19, who now admits to understanding the reality of people with disabilities better.

"I do not notice any difference between this and other restaurants," Yand adds.

Regarding future plans, Lu plans to open another half-dozen similar restaurants in Beijing, of which at least one will include a small "experimental room" where diners can feel the same as a deaf person.

Everything, she said, has the intention of contributing to the integration of people with disabilities in China.

"In China we have an old proverb that says 'it is better to teach fishing than to give a fish.' We Want to offer justice and a platform so that all these people can develop, work and strive," Lu concluded. EFE-epa

jacb/sp/ch

News history
2 arrested on suspicion of being linked to journalist's death in N. Ireland

London, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Two teenage men have been arrested on suspicion of having shot and killed a journalist who had been observing disturbances in the...

Ukrainian presidential campaign ends with heated debate in soccer stadium

Kiev, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- The president of Ukraine and his main rival in the upcoming national elections, a comedian who has been leading the pre-poll...

Bullfighters, soldiers, TV personalities, the new faces of Spanish politics

By Antonia Méndez Ardila

France launches architectural competition to replace Notre Dame spire

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).-The French government has launched an international architectural competition aimed at rebuilding a spire on Paris’ iconic Notre...

Firefighters: Notre Dame fire out, French president pledges reconstruction

Paris, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Paris firefighters tackling a blaze that partially destroyed the city's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral said on Tuesday the flames...

American Airlines to boost Boeing 737 MAX training

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- American Airlines Group Inc., after saying for months that its pilots didn't need additional ground-simulator experience...

Juncker: No Brexit extension beyond Oct. 31, UK must run in EU elections

Strasbourg (France), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The European Union is not likely to extend the Brexit negotiation period beyond the current – and already delayed –...

Investors suffer a smoking relapse

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Much like die-hard smokers, investors are finding it hard to stay away from cigarettes, according to a Dow Jones...

Notre-Dame heavily damaged by fire, but building appears to have been saved

Paris, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the culmination of Gothic architecture, on Monday suffered a devastating fire that...

Rumors transmitted on WhatsApp hinder vaccinations in India

New Delhi, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Antivaccine misinformation, some of it from social media posts in the West, is spreading in India on WhatsApp, undermining...

Pakistan rights watchdog urges UN to probe extrajudicial killings

Islamabad, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Monday urged the United Nations to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings...

India carrier Jet Airways cuts international flights

Mumbai (India), Apr 15 (efe-epa).- India's Jet Airways has drastically reduced operations as it looks for an investor to purchase a controlling stake in the...

Ecuador jilted Assange as it strengthened US ties

London, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Ecuador's diplomatic protection of Julian Assange once allowed the small Andean nation's leftist government to antagonize its...

A new generation of politicians to battle it out in Spanish general elections

By Jesús Lozano

Bletchley Park, the laboratory of geniuses who read Hitler's mind

By Patricia Rodríguez

Anxiety seeps from Tetsuya Ishida's art in first European retrospective

Madrid, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- Tetsuya Ishida's career was cut short when he died at the tender age of 31 but his surreal existential canvasses offer a glimpse...

First ever photo of supermassive black hole revealed

Brussels, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The first-ever image of a supermassive black hole loitering at the heart of the Milky Way was unveiled on Wednesday in Brussels...

Malmstrom says EU wants to avoid escalation of tensions with US

Tokyo, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The European Union's trade commissioner said on Wednesday that the EU wants to avoid an escalation in trade tensions with the...

Egyptian aims to break record with 100 putty figures of celebrities

By Carles Grau Sivera

EU and China in 'breakthrough' trade talks on World Trade Organization reform

Brussels, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The European Union and China have strengthened their relationship in “breakthrough” trade talks at a summit on Tuesday and...

May seeks support for Brexit delay ahead of EU Council summit

Berlin, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister on Tuesday visited the German chancellor in another last-minute Brexit trip.

Russia to go ahead with controversial Turkey missile sale

Moscow, Apr 8 (efe-epa).- Russia has Monday pledged to continue with the sale of military weapons to Turkey, including an anti-aircraft missile deal that...

Russia to release whales following Cousteau mediation

Moscow, Apr. 8 (efe-epa).- Nearly 100 animals that have been held in dreadful conditions in a "whale jail" in eastern Russia will be released into the wild,...

Japanese robot manufacturer: automation will not destroy jobs

Kocevje (Slovenia), Apr 8 (efe-epa).- A Japanese robot manufacturer that has launched its first factory in Europe said Monday that the use of artificial...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.