Recently, a Japanese eatery made headlines after it was revealed that customers are willingly slapped in the face before being served their meals. At Shachihoko-ya, located in Nagoya, kimono-clad waitresses slap a willing customer in face with their palms, again and again for 300 Japanese yen (Rs 170). There is also a 500 yen (Rs 283) surcharge if patrons request a particular staff member to give them a beating. The service is popular with both Japanese men and women, as well as foreign tourists. Many even express gratitude to the waitresses for the brutal service. But after videos of the bizarre practice went viral online, the restaurant went to X to inform that the restaurant no longer offers slaps.
In a post on the microblogging website, they wrote: “Shachihoko-ya does not currently offer slapping. We appreciate the attention it has received today, but we cannot accommodate visits with the intention of receiving slapping. We did not expect that old videos should go viral like this, so please understand before you come.”
The controversial service, which started in 2012, revived the establishment’s business and attracted a growing number of patrons willing to try the experience. At first, it was only one female employee who struck. As demand grew, management hired more girls willing to dish out some slaps.
It is not clear if the service has been permanently interrupted or will return soon.
Meanwhile, Japan has another interesting restaurant where customers receive something they didn’t order. This situation is almost a norm rather than a sign of negligence at the ‘Restaurant of Mistaken Orders’. Here, the waiters don’t get into trouble when they serve a different dish. They are expected to.
Japanese TV director Shiro Oguni aimed to change people’s perception of aging and the complex problems it brings. He explicitly wanted to tackle dementia as a cognitive problem. He devised a brilliant plan to challenge people’s belief in the same. In the concept film for the project, he explains: “Dementia is so widely misunderstood. People think you can’t do anything for yourself. And the condition will often mean complete isolation from society.” When you attend a pop-up of the restaurant, you will discover that the waiting staff consists entirely of people suffering from dementia. Diners are thus required to interact and confront their preconceptions about this condition.
Waiters may decide to eat with customers, present orders unexpectedly, or even forget what was ordered. It is suggested that diners respond with warmth and humor. The project fully embraces the humorous aspects of sometimes getting the order wrong.
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