Friday, February 02, 2007

Blind waiters and pitch black dining rooms

Interesting story out of China: Dark restaurants, in which you order in the light and proceed to a pitch-black dining room to eat, where you are served by blind waiters.

I was tipped off to a story in the Shanghai Daily Jan 23, available for the moment via Google's cache. One of these dark restaurants opened in Beijing in late December, catering to young people and expatriates, and will soon open in Shanghai. The company behind them hopes to have 20 outlets throughout Asia by the end of next year.

The company's president said: "Eating in the darkness increases intimacy, which best embodies the slogan of the restaurant: A world without emotional distance."

Cell phones, watched and lighters are confiscated and guests are led to their tables by hosts wearing night vision goggles. But "the restaurant will recruit some blind servers in addition 10 ordinary staff," the story states, as in Beijing and other dark restaurants.

A sidebar, not online, claims the first "dark restaurant" opened in Zurich in 1999 by a blind priest who wanted to create jobs for the blind and help diners better understand their challenges.

I have created a "global restaurants" label for stories like this one and the Japanese authentic restaurant inspectors.

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Sean said...

I've heard of similar places in Amsterdam and London -- and I think there's one that just opened in LA!

February 02, 2007 1:04 PM  
anne said...

i don't know... eating in the dark? that's a little creepy. i have a thing about being able to see what i eat.

February 02, 2007 4:24 PM  

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