Innovative Point of Difference in Deaf Restaurant

A restaurant in Canada has recently opened with a unique point of difference. The Signs restaurant is a restaurant in which spoken orders always fall on deaf ears. Because all the waitressing and kitchen staff are deaf, diners have a unique opportunity to say their order using sign language.

Diners are not completely thrown in the deep end of course. Guided by a menu with instructions and translators to greet customers at the beginning, diners are fully equipped to place orders and enjoy this unique experience.

And it truly is a unique experience! President and founder Anjan Manikumar claims that “this is the first restaurant of its kind.” Being the first is key to Sign’s strategic differentiation. Canadians would likely see this as a unique dining experience which will generate high interest in the restaurant, especially in its first few months!

Notably, this restaurant also has the benefit of proving employment to deaf. A report claimed that 37.5% of Canadians are unemployed. This can be seen in the fact that over 200 deaf people applied to work at Signs. Canadians aware of this would be even more likely to dine at Signs. 

So what can businesses take from Signs success? Firstly that innovation is often key to many differentiation strategies. By emphasising what is unique about your business, you can generate interest about what unique benefits your business can offer. Secondly businesses can learn that often consumers are driven by philanthropic needs- or rather satisfying more than their own needs.

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