BANGKOK, THAILAND: COCA Restaurants, the leading Thai suki restaurant chain, is tapping into the ancient wisdom of Thai massage to create new opportunities for underprivileged members of society while also helping to keep its workforce happy and healthy.
This innovative Asian culinary brand, which opened its first dining establishment more than 60 years ago, has offered full-time employment to four blind Thai massage therapists. These highly-trained wellness experts will be based in the company’s headquarters, helping to promote health and wellness in the workplace.
“At COCA, our philosophy is to treat our employees like our own family, whilst also caring for our community. Unfortunately, visually impaired people often find it hard to integrate into working society, so by providing employment opportunities to blind masseurs and masseuses, we are helping them to build their workplace skills, enhance their self-confidence and of course, earn a regular salary. This is a wonderful example of a win-win initiative that creates benefits for our entire workforce, our customers and the wider community,” he added.
COCA has already employed four massage practitioners, all of whom were initially based at the company’s head office in Bangkok before rotating between the company’s other branches.
The massage therapists have also now started heading out to visit COCA’s restaurants in Thailand, providing the same services to busy frontline staff including chefs and waiters, who spend long hours working in a fast-paced environment.
In line with the age-old traditions of Thai massage, the blind treatment is performed without oils and while the recipients are fully clothed, making it perfectly suited to a workplace environment.
The massage follows designated lines (“sen”) in the body, targeting pressure points and relieving tight, twisted muscles. Combining pressing and stretching with Indian Ayurvedic principles, the recipient is left feeling not only physically refreshed, but also mentally revived and ready to tackle the afternoon ahead.
COCA dates back to 1957, when Khun Srichai Phanphensophon and his wife Patama opened their first suki restaurant in Bangkok’s historic Surawong district. By embracing the concept of blind massage, COCA is helping to ensure the long-term future of another famous Thai tradition.