If you are in Zagreb, you may like to check out the first silent café, where deaf waiters are employed and customers place their orders by tablet. Silent Caffe opened last week on Ulica Knez Mislav 7 in the Croatian capital, and it is funded by the City of Zagreb. It is staffed by three deaf waiters, who were employed with the help of the Croatian Employment Service.
After arriving at the café, customers place their via a tablet on the table, which sends a message to the waiter’s computer. The waiter then prepares the order and delivers it to the table and customers can also request the bill through the tablet. Visitors to the café also have the opportunity to learn basic Croatian sign language to help make ordering easier, thanks to a video shown in the cafe.
The aim of the project is to bridge differences and break down prejudices around employing deaf people. It demonstrates that by using the latest technology solutions as tools, communication barriers with people who can hear can be overcome. In addition, customers frequenting the café can have the opportunity to learn about the obstacles encountered by deaf people in the workplace.
All the profits earned by the café will be invested in new products and services that the city plans to develop. These will help to address poor integration into the labour market of deaf people, which results in the loss of hope and faith in a secure future. The café is already a hit and it overcomes any perception that deaf people might have a problem achieving the communication levels needed to run a café bar.
Follow Silent Caffe on Facebook here.