Leading American coffee chain Starbucks has come up with a unique concept, ‘silent cafe’ is now a thing in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, in which nearly half of the staff are hearing-impaired(such a touching move), as part of an initiative to support the employment for people who’re differently challenged.
Currently, Seattle-based Starbucks dominates China’s coffee scene and has over 3,800 stores in the country.
“This might be the quietest Starbucks of over 3,800 shops on the Chinese mainland,” said Leo Tsoi, chief operating officer of Starbucks China, was quoted as said by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Fourteen of the 30 staff at the shop, located in Yuexiu district and officially opened over the weekend, are hearing impaired. The shop is equipped with specially-designed ordering system that allows people to place orders without even uttering a word.
For example, all the beverages and food are numbered to for a smooth ordering system, and customers can also choose to write down their specific needs. “We cannot hear you but would like to share a tasty coffee with you,” said Chen Siting, a proffesional at the store.
“I believe more people like me could find a career they are passionate about in the future.” Zhu Jieying, Starbucks’ first coffee master with hearing loss in China, is among three of the hearing-impaired managers at the store. He has worked for seven years for Starbucks, Zhu now hopes that the store could be a platform for people with disabilities to work for themselves and explore more possibilities in their life.
“We hope this could be an opportunity to promote employment equality,” said Fan Yitao, vice chairman of the China Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
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