New Sign Language Restaurant Only Takes Orders In American Sign Language


Brilliant idea alert: later this month, a new restaurant will be opening up in Toronto called “Signs” on 558 Yonge Street, which promises to be Canada’s first “deaf” restaurant where customers are asked to order their dinners using only American Sign Language.

Staffed primarily by deaf servers, the restaurant hopes to provide “a kind of community service for a deaf population that often struggles to find employment in a speech-oriented workforce,” reports The Star. The idea came to owner Anjan Manikumar while managing a Boston Pizza. After realizing one of his regular customers was deaf, he sought to learn American Sign Language (ASL) in order to provide a better experience for his guest.

At Signs, customers will have access to an ASL “cheat book” to help them order from Signs’s Canadian and international food menu, which includes everything from chicken salad to game. Rabbit, for example, looks like this. And while pointing is technically allowed, it isn’t encouraged, as the goal is that Signs provides a place where the deaf can feel welcome and the hearing are able to learn about the deaf community.