"Dream, Dream, Dream! Conduct these dreams into thoughts and then transform them into action."
- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

What’s Your Superpower?

16-09-2017 01:30 PM | Aastha Dogra

What’s Your Superpower? | My Indian Dream

You are greeted with quite a few pleasant surprises...Experience it

It is well known that the main aim of all businesses is to earn profits. However, some of the new age businessmen, in addition to making profits, want to make a difference to the society with their work as well. It was precisely this that made Prashant Issar and Anuj Shah open the Mirchi and Mime restaurant in Mumbai. This upscale restaurant in Powai serves scrumptious Indian cuisine and looks like any other restaurant from the outside. However, once you visit it, you are greeted with quite a few pleasant surprises.

Mirchi and Mime is unique and special, reason being that its entire waiting staff is hearing and speech-impaired. Dressed in black uniform, sneakers and a sparkling smile, the waiting staff makes the dining experience in this restaurant very memorable. This restaurant has illustrated menus with an easy-to-follow gesture glossary, to make it easy for the diners to order food. The dishes here are served with small signboards so that the guests know which dish is being served. Once you begin eating, the restaurant seems as “regular” as any other.

Issar and Shah themselves learned the sign language before recruiting the staff from Mumbai’s Rochiram T. Thadani High School for Hearing Handicapped and the National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped (NASEOH) Mumbai division. The staff was trained for a good fourteen weeks by Dr. Reddy’s Foundation and the in-house head of training Clyde Castellino, before they began working in the restaurant.

Restaurants like Mirchi and Mime have shown how profit maximization and altruism can go hand in hand. Issar and Shah feel that their restaurant is not about disability, it celebrates the enthusiasm and confidence of its differently-able staff.  They restricted the menu to Indian only, as they felt that the staff is more comfortable gesturing it to the guests. Sensitivity is a noticeable underlying theme of this restaurant.

Issar and Shah plan to open 21 mime concept restaurants by 2018 in India and abroad. Despite the customers turning up in this restaurant has a lot to do with the waiting staff here, however, to ensure repeat customers, Mirchi and Mime has laid a lot of focus on its quirky interiors as well as delicious food menu. A visit to this restaurant with a heart is a must if you are in Mumbai. And if you ever go there, do not forget to chin tap with your right hand, to show your appreciation.

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