Mistaken Orders

Ayelet Baron
2 min readSep 7, 2023

What if we are served genuine experiences?

In a fast-paced world, the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders invites us to slow down. It serves us genuine, raw experiences, not just meals.

Usually, dining out means getting what we order. But the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders in Tokyo changes this expectation. Here, servers with dementia bring an element of surprise to each meal.

At this restaurant, the term “mistaken” sets the tone. You expect variety, not precision. About 37% of orders come out differently. Still, an impressive 99% of customers leave delighted.

Shiro Oguni is the heart behind this venture. His mission? Open people’s minds about dementia. A growing global issue, dementia affects 35 million people. By 2050, this number will soar to 115 million. Oguni envisions a more caring, laid-back society where everyone lives in harmony, dementia or not.

So, what’s the dining experience like? We find that letting go of rigid expectations turns the meal into an adventure. Observing the joyful servers enriches the experience. Delicious food lands on our tables, no matter what.

Mistaken Orders as Delights

Take a couple who ordered sushi but got ramen. They didn’t sulk; they enjoyed the unexpected dish. This moment broke down barriers, adding warmth to their experience.

The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders helps us learn patience and offers culinary surprises. Above all, it fosters a more welcoming, inclusive society. Imagine a world where we celebrate unpredictability. And we allow ourselves to understand the needs of people to have meaning. The impact here is incredible also to the staff who feel appreciated.

What if we move past traditional concepts of failure and success? In this shift, we pave the way for a new focus: healthy experiments and experiences. In doing so, we stop fearing mistakes. Instead, we see them as stepping stones.

Following this, we not only enrich our own lives but also make room for a more compassionate, inclusive community. Building on this, just like the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders, we discover that joy and connection often live in the places we least expect.

Embracing the unexpected becomes the new way of life, adding layers of richness and depth to our everyday experiences; no longer consuming services or products.

Integrating dementia as part of living experiences creates ripples of awareness and understanding.

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Ayelet Baron

Pioneering Futurist. Author. Former Cisco strategist. Thinkers50 author. Forbes 50 Female Futurists #indieauthor