TORONTO, ON - Imagine ordering your next meal out without even saying a word. That's the concept behind a new Toronto restaurant, ‘Signs’ where almost every server is Deaf or Hard of Hearing and customers are encouraged to order in sign language, the Toronto Star reports.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Anjan Manikumar. A former manager at a Markham, Ont. Boston Pizza, Manikumar noticed one of his regular guests, who was Deaf, couldn't communicate with staff. Manikumar then chose to learn American Sign Language, or ASL.
His education led to the development of Signs. Described as a restaurant where "noise meets silence," Signs will provide diners with "cheat sheets" to order their meals, BlogTO writes.
Ioanna Roumeliotis visits Signs, Canada's first restaurant staffed with Deaf waiters. - Video by The National
What's most novel about the restaurant, though, is that it will employ those who have faced obstacles in attaining steady work in Canada: A 1998 survey found 37 per cent of Deaf Canadians were unemployed.
According to Toronto Life, Signs will serve a blend of Canadian and international foods with a focus on game meat, so get your signs for rabbit and bison down pat before you visit. It is not yet known when the restaurant will officially open, a note on their Facebook page posted on June 15 simply stated that the grand opening would be delayed. Source
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