While many businesses do their best to accommodate those with special needs, some go above and beyond to make everyone feel special.
Blind singer and songwriter Natalie Te Paa was at such a restaurant, the Luciano by Gina D’Acampo in London with her producer for her birthday.
It’s an upscale Italian restaurant, so they expected the fare to be excellent, but they didn’t expect to receive such incredible service.
The staff at the restaurant usually use chocolate to spell out “Happy Birthday,” for their customers, but when they heard that Natalie was blind, they went the extra mile to write out “Happy Birthday” in Braille.
It may seem like a small thing, but the little extra effort they made really made a world of difference for Natalie, who felt seen and accepted at that moment.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
You can see the joy and disbelief on her face when she realizes what they did in the video below:
The general manager of the restaurant, Giovanni Gallucio, spoke with TODAY, explaining that they usually use melted chocolate to write the birthday messages, but for Braille, they had to make sure the chocolate was hardened. She said it was the first Braille message they ever wrote for a guest.
Natalie shared that she’s gone out for her birthday in the past and had staff sing for her, but this was the first time her disability was accommodated in such a meaningful way.
Not only did staff have to look up how to spell out “Happy Birthday” in Braille, but they had to make sure the chocolate was cold enough to touch without melting or smearing.
Natalie hopes to open conversations about inclusivity in different industries, and this experience was a perfect example of what true inclusivity can look like.
She stated to TODAY:
“We need to make [dining out] more inclusive for people of all disabilities … Being able to learn how to get on the level of the person you’re seeing in front of you. If just one restaurant is inspired to make their service more inclusive, that’s all I could ask for.”