Visually impaired and blind people are marginalized from the labor market. The Blindekuh, the world’s first “Restaurant in the dark”, is one of the core projects of the Blind-Leicht Foundation. At Blindekuh the guests eat in complete darkness, socializing and enjoying the food with all other senses excluding the sight. The guests are lead and served by visually impaired and blind people who have a job here.The experience serves to understand the lifestyle of visually impared individuals. The restaurant also hosts cultural and educational events. The restaurant has been able to create 67 jobs out of which 30 have been for the visually impaired or blind.
Since the first Blindekuh restaurant was established in 1999, a total of 67 jobs have been created. 30 of these placements are held by partially sighted and blind persons. Simultaneously, 670,000 guests have been hosted by both Blindekuh restaurants and the Blindekuh- project at the Swiss expo.02. Through these unique opportunities for engagement between the visually impaired and sighted persons, a greater understanding of living with a visual impairment has been fostered. The astounding press coverage has thus lead to the Blindekuh model being replicated 20 times in other countries around the world.
The geographical focus areas of Blindekuh’s work include Basel and Zurich. The other Swiss Cantons as well as countries that border Switzerland are however not excluded. The visually impaired and blind persons from these locations, who experience marginalization related to employment opportunities, are the primary target group. Simultaneously we target the general public in increasing their awareness and empathy on the world of the blind and the visually impaired.
- For the general public: the unique experience of Blindekuh has a long lasting impact on the visitors as they discover a new way of interacting with the visually impaired and the blind.
- For the restaurant and its employees: the high ratio of financial self-sufficiency (over 90% of costs covered) provides for its sustainability.
The Blindekuh projects are unique in its combination of promoting the empowerment of visually disabled individuals, while simultaneously providing valuable understanding and awareness of the lifestyle of individuals with visual disabilities to the general public.
The Blindekuh was opened in 1999 in Zurich, as the world’s first dark restaurant. The concept has been replicated in Basel in 2005. Meanwhile this restaurant model has been copied and replicated 20 times over in other countries around the world.
Source of funding
Over 90% of their funding needs are covered through the restaurants` revenues. The rest is covered through donations. In 2011, revenues were 3.2 million CHF and 94% of costs could be covered.