PizzAutoBus: 120 Autistic Kids Hired and 30 Food Trucks by 2028 – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

«Simone he shouldn’t be at PizzAut because when he came to me he didn’t know how to write and if you don’t know how to write you can’t be a waiter. We take orders by hand precisely to keep the kids in training. Simone is the oldest, he spent the last 20 years after middle school between home and a day center. I taught him to write again and today Simone takes extraordinary orders, even at very complex tables. And I remember the first order he took, he raised it to the sky as if it were the champions’ cup, a truly incredible result. Simone is employed by Quantum Retail.

«Simone. The autism spectrum is very broad, out of 600 thousand autistic people there are kids with very low IQs (for those who believe in reading an IQ or a report) and those who struggle to do even simple operations. Then there are kids with IQs above average and Simone is one of these. In 3 years he graduated in economics and commerce while working for me at the restaurant and now he is doing his master’s degree. Yet an autistic kid even if he has a degree and even if he does his master’s degree while working, struggles to find work because it is written autistic. Simone has joined the great Danone team, which has placed him on secondment with us for the time being – some days he stays with us, other days he goes to work with them in order to facilitate his entry into the company. We call him The Nerd for obvious reasons.

«Joy she is my princess. Autistic women are few compared to males, there is about one in every 8, every 10. There are three girls out of 40 people who work with me. Letizia does not speak well and when she came to PizzAut, like Simone, she did not know how to write. Because sometimes if you have a cognitive disability, the Italian school disinvests in the person. Letizia wanted to be a waitress at all costs, but she did not know how to write. She ran, set the table, brought the pizzas, but she did not know how to write. We often talk about resilience and Letizia took 10 months to write the entire menu by heart. She can only write this but with the entire menu learned by heart she can be a waitress. Letizia wears a black apron, unlike the red one of the hired boys, the black one indicates those who are learning and Letizia is doing a paid internship. Think that most of the time the parents bring me their children and tell me that they will give me the money as long as I keep their children with me. This is to explain the family’s desperation. But no, here it works differently, we pay the kids, the kids don’t pay anything, from training to apartments to learn autonomy. At PizzAut the kids don’t pay anything. Because we support ourselves with our pizzas which are delicious and we sell a lot of them. With us, you learn to read, you learn to write, you learn to hug, you learn to have a higher self-esteem.

Institutional support

The presence of the important Institutionswhich demonstrates the importance of the social change brought about by PizzAut as well as by all the social realities that use paid work as a tool for inclusiveness, from SbrisolAut to Tortellante and so on. Political figures of a certain weight, beyond the party, who dedicate time to express their support by taking it away from their always busy agenda is a sign that times are truly changing. Connected from Rome, the Minister of Labor Marina Elvira Calderone and the Undersecretary of State for Economy and Finance Lucia Albanin the presence of the Prefect of Milan Claudio Sgaraglia, the‘Councillor for Family, Social Solidarity, Disability and Equal Opportunities at the Lombardy Region Elena Lucchinil, the Mayor of Milan Joseph Sala, the Minister for Disabilities Alessandra Locatelli.

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