Release Your Expectations

“Trade expectations for appreciation and your world changes instantly.”

– Tony Robbins

The other day my son asked, “Would you dine at a restaurant that got your order wrong 37% of the time?” 

“Of course not,” I replied without hesitation.

“Well, if you are ever in Tokyo, you just might,” he said with a chuckle.

Despite a 37% rate of incorrect orders, an astounding 99% of customers express satisfaction at the Orange Day Sengawa, affectionately dubbed the “Cafe of Mistaken Orders.”

Shiro Oguni established the restaurant with the intent of raising awareness and celebrating the challenges associated with living with dementia. 

In this quaint 12-seat café nestled in a western Tokyo suburb, elderly individuals diagnosed with dementia are employed as servers on a monthly basis. The cafe’s origin lies in the personal connection of a former owner, who had a parent grappling with dementia. 

The current owner now graciously allows the space to be rented out monthly for this unique dementia-focused cafe, collaborating with local authorities to connect with dementia patients in the vicinity.

The cafe serves as a haven where those with dementia can engage with new people, contribute meaningfully, and experience a sense of purpose – a crucial factor in slowing down the progression of this neurodegenerative condition lacking a cure.

Recognizing the challenge the elderly face in recalling table numbers, the staff replaced them with centerpieces featuring single flowers, each of a different color corresponding to a table.

Toshio Morita, a server exhibiting symptoms of dementia for the past two years, attests to the positive atmosphere: “It’s so much fun here. I feel like I’m getting younger just being here!”

“Expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.” – Brandon Sanderson

In the quiet corners of the cafe, where the vibrant orange aprons mingle with the colors of these forget-me-not flowers, a powerful lesson emerges: the beauty of embracing life without expectations. In a world often bound by predefined notions, this quaint establishment stands as a testament to the liberating philosophy of letting go.

As patrons chuckle over mixed-up orders and engage with the elderly servers, a profound truth reveals itself…the absence of expectations opens the door to genuine connections, unexpected joys, and a celebration of each moment as it unfolds. 

The Cafe of Mistaken Orders is a canvas where unpredictable strokes of life paint a picture more vivid and meaningful than any preconceived masterpiece.

This unconventional eatery has become a sanctuary where patrons and servers alike savor the beauty of the present, and it whispers a simple yet profound truth:

Life’s most precious moments often arise when you release your expectations.