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High end restaurant that prioritizes hiring people with Down syndrome wins “best eatery”

65 DEGRES
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The Belgian restaurant came first out of 2,000 restaurants, thanks to its French cuisine and top customer service.

A restaurant in Belgium is giving those with intellectual disabilities, especially Down syndrome, the chance to work in the luxury side of the food industry.

The restaurant called 65 Degrés — the perfect temperature to cook an egg — was established in 2018 by four co-founders with the aim of providing work to those with disabilities. And it seems their business model is proving a huge success. Located in the capital, Brussels, the high end restaurant serves up delicious French cuisine and has already garnered the impressive best eatery in Brussels award from Trip Adviser, ranking first out of 2,000 competitors.

As The Mighty reports, one of the co-founders, Valentin Cogels, shared that one of the benefits of their restaurant is offering high end cuisine with high end service: staff members who are so happy to work, and are genuinely delighted to make the clients feel welcome.

“The customers are here to see us and to savor the restaurant’s atmosphere and gastronomy. It is a lot of pressure. We are proud of ourselves,” explained Marie-Sophie Lamarche, a waitress with Down syndrome, to Reuters.

The majority of their staff, around 15, have Down syndrome, echoing the American chain Bitty and Beau’s Coffee, and its success can only pave the way for other employers to see the incredible benefits of hiring those with additional needs. Not only is their policy helping their profits, it’s also offering these more vulnerable members of society a chance to shine.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses

A photo of Marie-Sophie Lamarche hard at work on the terrace as featured on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

 

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