Situated in a far corner of the buzzy Satya Niketan market, Echoes has a steady stream of customers all day long, looking for some scrumptious food to gorge on. Though this is just one of the reasons why I decided to write about this café from the endless list of cafes in the same market.
Managed by disabled people, most of whom are deaf and dumb, Echoes is the culmination of the heart-warming efforts of five young friends, two of whom manage the café full time. The café, as explained by Kshitij Behl, one of the co-founders, is woven around the idea of motivation and equal opportunity to those with less access to opportunities. He further adds, “Disabled people in the hotel industry are usually neglected or given jobs which require no customer interaction, we on the other hand try to bring them on the upfront as we believe serving can also be taught like any other skill.”
To bring this dream to life, a lot of efforts were put in. Everyone in the café was told to live by the mantra, ‘Listen with your eyes and talk with your hand.’ With the support of different NGOs, the founders first got a hold of some deaf and dumb people. The next challenge was to train them with interaction and serving skills for which a proper module was prepared.
The interior and setting of the café is done keeping all important facts in mind which is proven by features like the walls of the café which display sign language and cue cards with notes such as ‘BILL PLEASE’, ‘THANK YOU’, ‘CALL THE MANAGER’ on each table.
Also, one very interesting and clever feature that I found at the café was in the ordering process. When you toggle a switch near your table, the bulb at the counter lights up and the server gets a cue that he is needed at the table. To add to it, every dish in the menu has a particular code. People, while ordering, are provided with a notepad and pen to jot down the dishes with their respective codes. All these measures prove to be very helpful in minimizing the errors.
The café is running successfully in the market since quite a few months and the credit for it does not go to the concept alone but also to the wonderful line-up of dishes in the menu. From Pastas to Waffliza (a combination of waffle and pizza… Umm, aren’t you drooling already?), they have made sure they add a different twist to all the dishes and make them unique in the ‘Echoes’ way.
If you are a person with a sweet tooth (high five!) then this café has a lot to offer you. Be it their delicious brownies or the crowd pleaser Oreo and Kitkat shakes, you’ll love all of it to bits.
Also, they will be coming up with a newly designed menu with various twists in flavours as well as concept soon. The menu is proudly named as “ECHO-nomics”.
So, do give this café a visit and have the experience to remember, because #SpoonRecommends.