“The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders” is a pop-up concept born in 2017 in Tokyo from an idea by producer Shiro Oguni. As the name itself suggests, the dish you order once you sit down at a table might not be the one you end up eating - and that’s because the restaurant only staffs people living with dementia.
“Dementia is so widely misunderstood,” said Oguni in a presentation for the restaurant. “People believe you can’t do anything for yourself and the condition will often mean complete isolation from society”. But that’s not what Oguni and the creators of the restaurant believe, and that’s precisely the goal of this pop-up - creating a feeling of open-mindedness and acceptance to spread awareness about dementia and hopefully lowering the social stigma around it.
The restaurant is a stylish and fashionable place where “everything on the menu tastes delicious,” so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll enjoy the mistaken order brought to you. Ever since the restaurant’s first event, staff calculated that 37% of orders are generally mistaken, but 99% of the customers “declared themselves happy,” as well as believing that this concept might really help in understanding dementia patients better.
Ever since its creation, the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders has appeared in several places around Japan, from its launch event in Roppongi in 2017 to a café in Machida, via a restaurant in Shizuoka in 2018 and a pop-up at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2019 back in Tokyo.
The interest around the restaurant and its movement are growing steadily every day, so if you want to stay up-to-date with them and learn where the next pop-up event will be, you can do so at their official website here and Facebook page here.