When dining out, there’s an expectation that your order will be correctly served to you. But if you’re going to eat at the Tokyo pop-up called Restaurant of Mistaken Orders, you should rethink your expected outcome. This dining experience is staffed by people living with dementia who may, or may not, get your order right.
The first iteration of Restaurant of Mistaken Orders began in 2017 with a pre-opening event that doubled as training for staff and servers. When a tweet by a patron went viral, there was even more fanfare for the official launch event in September of that year. Since that time, the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders has continued to collaborate with different dining establishments around the city.
With the word “mistaken” in its name, diners approach their meal with the expectation that it might be wrong, but that they’ll still eat something delicious. In a short video about the restaurant, there are about 37% of orders that were wrong, but despite these errors, 99% of customers said they were happy dining there.
Shiro Oguni, the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders producer, hopes that this yields more open-mindedness about dementia. There are 35 million people worldwide who live with this condition, and it’s projected that this number will increase to 115 million by the year 2050. “We want to change society to become more caring and easy-going,” he says in the video. “So dementia or no dementia, we can live together in harmony.”