5 Unique Social Distancing Ideas By Restaurants Around The World
Additional reporting by Andrea Saadan
1/5 Amsterdam, Netherlands
No stranger to innovation, Mediamatic ETEN has hosted a slew of eye-opening events in the past, including a 'Beauty Dinner' revolving around edible skin products (Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop would probably have approved) Though not strictly vegan, the eco-friendly restaurant supports plant-based eating and serves the likes of Aubergine Satay, Beetroot Orzotto, and Fresh Aquaponics Salad.
In order to lure the locals of Amsterdam back through their doors post lockdown, the edgy restaurant and art space installed individual greenhouses along the banks of the Dijkspark canal. Each Serres Séparée seats a maximum of four diners, and guests should already live in the same household, preferably.
2/5 Maryland, USA
Now that theme parks have shuttered their gates indefinitely, bumper cars are beginning to feel like a thing of the past. But one company hopes to make it big with Bumper Tables.
Event Revolution's new invention guarantees a 6-inch gap between yourself and the closest diner at a restaurant. Fish Tales Ocean City was among the company's first clients. Fashioned from air-filled rubber tubes and outfitted with stroller wheels, Bumper Tables can be rented for US$150 each.
(Related: In An Age Of Social Distancing, Here's How To Appreciate The Joys Of Slow Living)
3/5 Schwerin, Germany
Though cost-effective, duct tape, the most common spacial marker at most restaurants, isn't thoroughly effective as unobservant customers often overstep their boundaries; neither does it do anything to lift the gloomy atmosphere that has settled on Schwerin, North Germany, like a thick fog.
Hence everyone's mirth to hear of Cafe & Konditorei Rothe's ingenious tactic for maintaining social distancing: straw hats affixed with colourful, 1.5 metre-long pool noodles are handed out to every customer who wishes to dine-in.
Owner Jacqueline Rothe said that her aim was to put a smile on people's faces, especially after experiencing an onslaught of gloomy days.
(Related: Gift Ideas For Your Socially Distant Loved Ones in Singapore)
4/5 Virginia, USA
Talk about innovation and inventive solutions. The famed, three-Michelin-starred The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia grabbed headlines when it reopened last Friday. Chef Patrick O'Connell decided to fill the dining room with mannequins dressed in vintage clothes from the '40s. What guests will see are these well-dressed 'diners' seated at empty tables, to enforce social distancing while the restaurant operates at half-capacity.
“When we needed to solve the problem of social distancing and reducing our restaurant’s occupancy by half, the solution seemed obvious—fill it with interestingly dressed dummies,” Chef O’Connell said in a statement. “This would allow plenty of space between real guests and elicit a few smiles and provide some fun photo ops.”
(Related: 10 Feel-Good News Stories Around The World That Emerged Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic)
5/5 Bangkok, Thailand
Over in Bangkok, a popular Vietnamese eatery has turned to more adorable measures to implement social distancing rules for their customers. Restaurant diners at Maison Saigon will find themselves having a meal with stuffed pandas to remind them of social distancing. So if there's anyone in the city who's been tired of eating alone in quarantine, perhaps these stuffed toys will be of great company.
“We have pandas and clear panels to help keep the distance for you to be happy and healthy,” the restaurant said on its Facebook page. Thailand eased its coronavirus restrictions back in late April.