This PJ Restaurant Serving Delicious Fusion Meals Is Run By Deaf & Disabled People

A place that will warm your heart and your tummy.

Cover image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

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In a world that's moving towards inclusivity and diversity, one restaurant in Petaling Jaya is taking steps to not only embrace these values but also set a remarkable standard for others to follow

DIB Restaurant Café & Catering, also known as Deaf in Business, aims to help deaf and disabled people by providing them with employment opportunities.

It all started with one person, Dr Allen Teh, the founder of DIB Restaurant.

Recounting his days working in KFC Imbi in 1985, where 90% of the staff were deaf, Dr Allen was inspired to make a difference in the lives of the deaf and disabled community.

With nearly 12 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, he launched a café in 2010, inspired by the flourishing gourmet coffee trend at the time.

During the same period, the concept of social enterprises was also gaining traction, and he wholeheartedly embraced the idea.

In a pioneering move, he hired and trained an initial team of five people with disabilities (PWDs), affirming his commitment to a more inclusive and compassionate business model.

"The PWD staff are skilled in cooking delicious food because they are properly trained by two experienced chefs, one from Sri Lanka and another from Malaysia," he told SAYS

As for their coffee baristas, Dr Allen shared that they paid a Barista Champion to train them.

A DIB staff preparing waffles.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

DIB Peri Chicken.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

DIB staff proudly showing their Juicy Jumbo Burgers.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

Kok Jiann Cheng, DIB's most dedicated employee of 10 years, never imagined that one day he would be able to master the art of crafting a flawless cup of coffee, complete with mesmerising latte art swirls

Although he initially grappled with dissatisfaction in his latte art during his barista training, Kok Jiann eventually discovered true satisfaction in the process. 

Today, he takes great pride in his refined skills and radiates confidence that his coffee-making techniques are on par with professional baristas in top-notch cafés.

Kok Jiann in action with his latte art.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

DIB Restaurant Café serves crowd-favourite local and western fare, such as pasta, fried chicken chop, salmon steaks, and nasi Pattaya, among many others

DIB Salmon Steak.

Image via @dibrestaurant (Instagram)

Walnut Pesto Pasta made with Home Grown Italian Basil.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

Nasi Lemak Chicken Chop.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

DIB Juicy Jumbo Beef Burger.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

In addition to its deaf staff members, DIB also accommodates employees with various other disabilities

Currently, DIB employs individuals with learning abilities, autism, and partial blindness. Remarkably, these challenges don't hinder their ability to communicate effectively within the team or with customers, as they often rely on simple hand signals.

Of course, if it pertains to something more complicated, customers can simply approach their hearing staff for assistance.

Besides technical skills like serving, cooking, coffee-making, or being a cashier, the staff learn many other life skills through work

By working alongside the hearing staff and interacting with customers, they also acquire valuable skills for navigating daily life, while mastering fundamental phrases such as "thank you" and "welcome".

Not only has working in DIB helped the lives of these individuals improve socially, it has also enabled them to attain financial stability. This includes the ability to invest in modern technology, secure insurance coverage, afford leisure activities, and contribute as providers for their families.

DIB staff preparing Father's Day gifts.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (facebook)

A DIB staff giving out a Father's Day gift to a customer.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

The restaurant has an appealing terrace adorned with lush greenery, which offers more than just a cosy dining experience.

It also serves as a versatile event space, providing catering services for a wide range of occassions.

If you need a space or venue for a small gathering, DIB Restaurant Cafe is able to cater up to 130 people.

A fundraising event project by DIB that gives back to the community.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

A birthday celebration in their beautiful garden terrace.

Image via DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering (Facebook)

If you're dining in during regular operating hours, there's a special token of appreciation — you get to adopt a plant as a reward when you spend over RM20 in a single receipt

DIB Restaurant Cafe & Catering has operated for 12 long years. This December, the restaurant will finally hit an impressive 13th-year mark!

You can visit DIB Restaurant at the following address:
PJ Trade Centre, 1st Floor, Menara Gamuda,
8, Jalan PJU 8/8A, Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya

Opening hours
10am – 8:30pm (Daily)
Closed on Sunday.

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Check out these organisations that are also helping individuals with special needs find jobs:

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