9 Amazing Restaurants That Hire People With Disabilities

Disabilities and Special Needs

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities in the US is on the rise, currently at around 12.6%. For specific disabilities, this can be much higher. But did you know about the excellent employment opportunities that are now appearing?

Many of these are in the catering and hospitality industry. Read on as we discuss 9 restaurants that employ people with disabilities and special needs.

1. Bitty and Beau’s

Bitty and Beau’s is a fantastic coffee shop in Wilmington, North Carolina. Owned by the Wright family, they have two downs syndrome children named Bitty and Beau. It opened in 2016 as a place where people with developmental disabilities could build a future.

The shop was so successful it now operates at two other locations. A total of 60 people with developmental difficulties are employed over the sites.

2. Howdy Homemade

Howdy Homemade resides in Dallas, Texas. This is not your average ice cream parlor with an honorable five-star rating.

Much of this is down to its dedicated staff made from people with Downs Syndrome and Autism. Opened by Tom Landis, he aims to shatter myths about employing those with disabilities.

While Tom admits that employing people with disabilities does have a longer training period, he believes better customer service and lower staff turnover are the results. Priding friendliness and customer service over speed, he hopes everyone will steal his idea.

3. Mozzeria

Melody and Russel Stein are the founders of a San Francisco restaurant manned entirely by deaf staff. A deaf couple themselves, they provide restaurant careers to those who may not otherwise find a job.

Mozzeria was their first spot and proved so successful it is now being franchised. Multiple locations will be opened serving awesome pizza and lower the unemployment rate for those in the deaf community at the same time.

4. Beanz & Co

Beanz & Co is located in Avon, CT. It was founded by Kim and Scott Morrison, along with their friends Noelle and Tim Alix. Both couples had seen how hard it was for their children to find work and decided to do something about it.

Thus, Beanz & Co was born. An inclusive cafe, it has a mix of disabled and non-disabled staff. Community is at their heart and their mission is to ensure that everyone belongs.

Produce from the cafe can be eaten on its specially designed premises, laid out so that it provides access for all. They even do catering and daily deliveries if you want to get some delicious produce while you are at the office!

5. Dark Table

Dark Table is not just a place that provides disability careers. It makes its customers become part of the experience as well. Staffed entirely by the visually impaired, the patrons have to eat and drink in the dark, mimicking what their waiters encounter every day.

This is part of the blind dining experience and there are restaurants around the world signing up for the movement. The idea is that touch, taste, hearing, and smell get more powerful once sight is taken out of the equation.

Originally, the concept came from Switzerland where blind chef Jorge Spielmann would blindfold his guests. It was such a success, it later turned into a restaurant concept that spanned the globe. For a unique evening of culinary delights, it is a must-do experience.

6. Hugs Cafe

Purveyor of classic American dishes, Hugs Cafe can be found in Mckinney, Texas. It was founded by Ruth Thompson as a way to provide restaurant jobs for special needs adults. Opening in 2013, she had previously worked within the disabled community and saw the cafe as a way to allow its members to build essential skills.

Unlike most operations, employees with disabilities here work both at the front of the house and in the kitchen. This provides more varied work experience should the employees wish to venture on to further employment.

7. Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates

Coffee and chocolate are a killer combination and you would not think they could get much better. Co-founded by Cameron Graham, her background is originally in catering. However, she went one step further by opening an establishment that prides itself on employing young adults with disabilities.

The cafe was set up as part of the Every1 Can Work initiative. Its aim is to provide permanent employment to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

All you need to do to get an idea of the excellent work they do is to check out their chocolate page. Chocolate Orange Almond Bark and their Chocolate Gingerbread Pops look truly delicious.

8. Vinny and Bay’s Coffee and Eatery

Most of the venues on this list start when people see the lack of special needs careers and opportunities available. Vinny and Bay’s is no different. Its founders are Kara Rigby and her daughter Madeline Lovejoy.

A friend of Madeline’s was struggling to find employment and it was this that sparked the idea. It is a safe space for the local disabled community and employs disabled adults. A second branch will open in the near future.

9. Samples

Sample’s mission is that of equality. It prides itself on having equal pay for equal work, giving both disabled and non-disabled staff members the same wage. The restaurant aims to let people do something they are passionate about with their life.

Founded by Carmen and Mark Sample, you can find the restaurant in Longmont, Colorado. It serves a wide range of dishes from its extensive menu and even delivers.

Finding a Job With Disabilities and Special Needs

Finding a job when you have disabilities and special needs does not just need to be in hospitality. More employers are taking on disabled employees, from retail jobs to office work. All you need to do is decide where you want to work then do the research.

Looking for love to go with your new career? Special Bridge is a disabled dating site that can match you with other singles. Click here to join up and find your new love today.


  1. Cathy Gremley

    January 18, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    I noticed all the jobs for disabled a

  2. Domanique

    January 24, 2022 at 12:42 am

    Hey u guys should make This a app or free people don’t have to pay

  3. Kathy Opperman

    February 10, 2023 at 2:12 am

    Check out the So Much to Give Inclusive Cafe in Cedars PA just opened November 2022. http://www.SoMuchtoGiveCafe.org


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