Rashays restaurant owner Bashar Krayem and staff member Virginia Valdivia are learning sign language for the convenience of their deaf customers.
A PUNCHBOWL restaurant will become Australia's first deaf-friendly eatery with waiting staff required to learn mandatory sign language as part of their employment.
The idea came about after the owner of Rashays restaurant, Bashar Krayem, wanted to improve communications with hearing impaired customers at the popular eatery.
Rashays' Sana Karanouh said the opportunity to train their staff in Auslan sign language came after discussions with customers from the Sydney Deaf Muslims group, who are regular weekend visitors to the eatery.
"We want to become a totally deaf-friendly restaurant," Ms Karanouh said.
Under the plan, Rashays, in partnership with Sydney Deaf Muslims, will develop an online Auslan sign training program for its employees that Ms Karanouh says will be an Australian first.
"This is just one of the many community projects Rashays are involved in," Ms Karanouh said.
"This week we wound up a campaign, in conjunction with a local church, to collect Manchester for the victims of a Tongan cyclone."
Ms Karanouh said a container was organised by NRL legend John Hopoate, who discussed how the eatery could contribute to the container, which was mainly for building supplies.
"We were given the job of collecting new blankets and pillows," she said.
"We set up a display in-store by fencing off an area, and allowing our customers and community to contribute new pillows and blankets."