If one has visited Food Street, the food court at Medanta hospital in Gurgaon or the Food Street at the Domestic terminal, Delhi Airport or certain Costa Coffee, Pizza Hut, KFC outlets across Kolkata, Mumbai or Delhi-NCR, you may have come across hearing-impaired employees serving you at these outlets run by Devyani International (DIL) ,the owner of popular brand Vaango & Masala Twist, and also one of the largest franchisees of KFC, Pizza Hut & Costa Coffee amongst others.
For Devyani International providing employment to the hearing-impaired was not a CSR lead initiative but a genuine desire to provide employment opportunities to individuals who could perform required tasks despite being unable to hear or speak.
What started off as an experiment has grown into a successful hiring practice by Devyani International by tying up with the right NGO partners working in this sphere.
Customers simply point to what they want or even write it on their phones and seem happy being served by people with special needs. Managers are trained in sign language and the HI (hearing impaired) employees who have been given extensive training are very well equipped to perform their job. They are given the same compensation and opportunity for growth.
We find more and more fast food outlets and chains now taking a much desired and required step towards inclusion following the shining example set up by these few organisations and also understanding the business sense it makes with respect to reduced attrition, a high level of commitment and customer satisfaction.