Restaurant that employs disabled workers posts pictures of empty tables online in plea for help

Dignity Kitchen receives support

On Tuesday, diners from all walks of life flocked to Dignity Kitchen, an eatery in Boon Keng, Singapore, to show their support as the business struggles to attract diners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call for help: Dignity Kitchen, a restaurant which aims to employ people with disabilities, posted a series of pictures showing their empty food court on Monday, according to AsiaOne. “Once again empty tables at Dignity Kitchen,” the establishment said in the caption.

(To view this entire post, click on the “see more” link to read through the social media platform.)

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  • The post received over 800 reactions, more than 130 comments and 1,800 shares. Some Facebook users wrote that they would visit the eatery and buy food from them to show their support.
  • Others recommended their favorite dishes from Dignity Kitchen, such as the Nasi Lemak, Kolo Mee and clay pot rice.

Answering the call: The effort paid off. A day after making the post, Dignity Kitchen was suddenly flooded with patrons coming in to show their support and try out their food.

(To view the pictures, click on the Facebook post to view through the social media platform.)

  • Singaporeans are a very kind lot. We can’t deny the ‘kampung’ spirit still flickers in them,” Dignity Kitchen said in a post on Tuesday. “A very big thank you EVERYONE for putting a smile on our differently-abled colleagues faces! Your support certainly goes a long way!! Not forgetting the social distance measures which were also in check!”

About the eatery: Founded by Seng Choon, Dignity Kitchen first opened its doors at Balestier Road in 2010 as Singapore’s first social enterprise kitchen. The project, which started with three stalls, employed people with mental and physical disabilities as Choon found that it was difficult for people with disabilities to find jobs.

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  • As part of their effort, Dignity Project trained individuals with disabilities to perform job tasks, such as being a cashier and taking orders. However, the eatery started on a rough path as some customers avoided the restaurant and even asked if they would “die from eating the food,” the project’s about page said.
  • The project then moved to Kaki Bukit View with 14 stalls in 2011. Although they reportedly operated at a loss, the Dignity Project pressed on without losing sight of its mission.

Featured Image via @proj.dignity

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