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New Toronto restaurant staffed with deaf waiters 2:33min

This is a short clip about a new business in Toronto that employs staff who are deaf. It creates jobs for people and it offers a unique and eye-opening experience to customers — a win-win situation.


to cater to someone = to pay attention to someone’s special wishes
e.g. Some travel agencies cater to Spanish-speaking tourists, some cater to Russian-speaking tourists, etc.

taste buds = the part of your mouth that detects flavour

a slider = a hamburger

to fall on deaf ears = an expression that is normally used when someone ignores you
e.g. I asked my boss for a raise but my request fell on deaf ears (=she ignored me)
In the video, it’s used as a double entendre (one phrase with two meanings)

aptly named = appropriately named
apt (adj) = suitable, appropriate

to give someone ‘a chance to shine’ = give them an opportunity

there is a buzz = people are talking, it’s becoming popular

to pour in = happening FAST
After the tsunami in Japan, donations to the Red Cross poured in (like water)

a reservation = when you call a restaurant before arriving, and they save a table for you (so you don’t have to stand in line)


A unique dining experience has just reached Canada. You can find it at a restaurant in downtown Toronto

It’s different because the menu not only caters to the taste buds it also speaks a language of food
you won’t hear anywhere else. Ioanna Roumeliotis explains

The menus are ready. The sliders are ready to grill. The staff dressed and ready to go. Opening night of a brand new restaurant in town where the goal of the evening is to have your order fall on deaf ears

Yep. You heard that right

This is Canada’s first restaurant staffed with deaf waiters and waitresses

But in terms of an idea…how?

An idea?

This was the first one of its kind

Aptly named “Signs,” this is a place where you have to follow the signs customers are the signs

Customers are asked to order food and drink using American Sign Language

There are icons next to every menu item and a cheat sheet to help

“Oh yeah. Red something. And then beet

And then…yeah watermelon

And what does that mean?

Red beet watermelon salad

I think I’m going to have the duck

Sign it!

It’s like this. And like this

Anjan Manikumar wanted to deliver a whole new dining experience and give deaf people a chance to shine

Providing them an opportunity here I think it’s is something that they deserve and they’re very
talented, every one of them, every one of my staff

I’m very happy to say they are extremely talented

More than 200 deaf people applied to work here

Most of the 50 or so who made the cut have no restaurant experience but a passion to learn

It’s given the deaf community opportunity to work in a workforce that they wouldn’t otherwise
be able to work in, and it’s opening up a whole new workforce for the deaf community

This is Mehdi Safavi’s first full-time job. An interpreter helped us ask him how that feels

It’s a wonderful. I’m so excited to be here. It’s a deaf environment where hearing people can come in and experience our world and our culture so it’s really amazing…really amazing. And it’s a challenge for me but a great challenge

It’s brand new but already there’s a buzz, and reservations are pouring in

Your biggest problem right now is that you might have too much business?

I might. I might have too much business

And all through an entirely different word-of-mouth

Ioanna Roumeliotis, CBC News, Toronto

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