Hutten and the Sign Language Coffee Bar join forces in the Netherlands


  • Bas de Ruiter (links) en Drees Peter van den Bosch credits: Alwin van WijngaardenBas de Ruiter (links) en Drees Peter van den Bosch credits: Alwin van Wijngaarden

Hutten and the Sign Language Coffee Bar have entered into an exclusive collaboration in order to recruit more Gebaaristas, a self-created word in Dutch meaning a sign-ista (a hearing-impaired barista). The Sign Language Coffee Bar employs hearing-impaired baristas. The partnership is in line with Hutten’s policy to employ people with a distance to the labour market. “We both work from an intrinsic motivation to look at people’s talents instead of their limitations,” says Peter van den Bosch, general manager of Hutten.

Are you deaf or hearing-impaired, able to speak sign language and would you like to work as a Gebaarista? You could contact them or take a look at their vacanciesYou can find the Sign Language Coffee Bar in several places in the Netherlands. Would you like to know more? Read this article or take a look at their website!  

2 minutes read

The Sign Language Coffee Bar

The Sign Language Coffee Bar exists since 2017 and was founded by social entrepreneur duo Bas de Ruiter and Sandra Ballij. They were also behind Ctaste, the first restaurant in the Netherlands where you dine in complete darkness, and Ctalents, the employment agency for talents who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired. “We saw that more and more people with a hearing impairment could not find a job quickly. It is distressing,” says Bas de Ruiter. “They are often people who come out of secondary education at the top of their class and are then rejected again and again when applying for jobs. For most of them, this happens dozens of times. This is one of the reasons we set up the Sign Language Coffee Bar. We can help people find a job straight away after an internal training to become a barista.”

Growth potential for Gebaarista’s 

The Sign Language Coffee Bar expertly trains deaf and hearing-impaired people to be Gebaarista’s, as you order your coffee from them in sign language or using a menu on a video screen. The coffee bar provides various concepts to give an original and social touch to companies or events. There are now 17 Gebaarista’s working at this special coffee bar. Bas: “140,000 people in the working population have trouble hearing or are completely deaf. It is much harder for these people to find a job. We see enormous growth potential for the Sign Language Coffee Bar. As we are not a catering company by trade, we looked for a partner with experience in the market. One condition was that this had to be a company as socially driven as we are. After getting to know Hutten and its culture, I knew we could enter into the partnership with confidence. I am convinced that this will help us to realize our goal of combating unemployment among the deaf and hearing-impaired and offer people paid work.”

Stimulating social cohesion

Hutten is also happy with the collaboration. Drees Peter van den Bosch: “We believe it is important to look at the talent of the hearing-impaired instead of their limitations. This is how we look at all our staff and anyone who wants to come and work for us. We already have people from this target group working for us, such as in our care bakery where a large proportion of the bakers have hearing difficulties. I am convinced that ordering coffee in sign language contributes to social cohesion and encourages visitors to consider diversity in the workplace. It has also been proven that companies that employ people with disabilities do better. They have higher customer and employee satisfaction scores and lower absenteeism among all employees.”

Website: Hutten and the Sign Language Coffee Bar

Please leave your contact details for a weekly tip from our editors. Of course we’d never share your details with others.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.