Restaurants are among the hardest-hit businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic. With customers taking extra precautions when going back to the “normal” dining setup, restaurants and cafes have to adapt to a “new normal.” As countries ease out of lockdown restrictions, what do you think dining experiences will look like in today’s world? Let’s see some out-of-the-box concepts restaurants have implemented to keep everyone’s dining experience enjoyable while staying compliant to social distancing measures.
Amsterdam, Netherlands • Recommendation •
This vegan restaurant in Amsterdam recently launched “Serres Séparées,” a French term meaning “separate greenhouses” that allows diners to enjoy their signature plant-based cuisine in intimate glass chambers. Complete with servers wearing protective shields, the restaurant continue to delight their guests’ senses with a four-course dinner while overlooking the stunning views of the city. Reserve your table online in advance as tables get fully booked fast.
Dijkspark 6a, 1019 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lübeck, Germany • Recommendation •
This cafe located in the city of Schwerin, Germany celebrated its re-opening by handing out these quirky noodle hats for its patrons to wear. Although the restaurant industry in Germany has slowly returned to normal since May, social distancing measures are still strictly in place.
Am Markt 11, 19055 Schwerin, Germany
Like most establishments, local boutiques also closed during the lockdown. This has largely decreased opportunities for designers to showcase their work to the public. That’s why fashion designer Julija Janus found a clever way to manage the fallout by working with restaurant owner Bernie Ter Braak. They started displaying designer garments on their table mannequins, which has prompted more businesses to follow suit and has now sparked global interest.
Dominikonų g. 10, Vilnius 01131, Lithuania
Sydney, Australia • Recommendation •
Post-quarantine dining definitely looks different as restaurants are restricted to operate at full capacity to encourage social distancing. Since an almost-empty setting may look odd to customers, the owner of this Australia-based restaurant started to fill seats with cardboard cutouts. The effort paid off, with guests quickly making reservations in only a few days.
106 Great N Rd, Five Dock NSW 2046, Australia
The pandemic has left the world in grief, with thousands of casualties and an increasing rate of unemployment almost everywhere. This Belgian restaurant aims to cheer up everyone’s mood by giving smiling face masks for its staff to wear. Charles De Bellefroid, CEO of the company behind the idea, thought that this will make the place more welcoming.
Rue des Pêcheries 2, 1170 Watermael-Boitsfort, Belgium
Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation •
Pho the love of pandas, Maison Saigon in Bangkok offers a cuddly dining experience so guests won’t feel lonely. Worry no more about dining solo because cute (and sanitized!) pandas make for good company as you enjoy authentic Seafood Pho Xao and their best selling curry. Just keep yourself from bringing the stuffed toy home, no matter how enjoyable the date was.
87 Velaa Building @ Sindhorn Village Room B111 Langsuan rd, แขวง ลุมพินี Pratumwan, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10330, Thailand
Maastricht, Netherlands • Recommendation •
While most servers have gone back to work post-quarantine, it’s a different story for this Dutch restaurant’s workforce. They now use robots to greet, take customers’ temperatures, and take orders from a safe distance. While this is not the first time robots have been used for restaurant efficiency, it certainly paved the way to utilize humanless contact in the foodservice industry.
Spoorweglaan 1, 6221 BS Maastricht, Netherlands
Roseville, United States • Recommendation •
Although it’s obvious that going to crowded bars isn’t advisable for the time being, some locations are slowly reopening again in California—with strict social distancing rules, of course. Sheila Kelly, the owner of Powell’s, placed makeshift plastic partitions to ensure that proper distance between customers is observed at the drink-ordering station. It’s far different from your usual Thursday night setting, but this works if you’re in need of a Bloody Mary or two.
425 Main St, Placerville, CA 95667, USA
Foodies around the world usually list Italy as a key place to visit, but with the immense impact of COVID-19, local restaurateurs struggle to reinvent their dining experience. For Goga Cafe owners Dario and Neri Goga, a feasible idea is to construct plexiglass barriers between diners. This helps regulars to continue enjoying their favorites while still adhering to safety measures.
Via Francesco Bianchi, 33, 20066 Melzo MI, Italy
Paris, France • Recommendation •
A mask is not exactly the most comfortable to wear while in eating, so French designer Christopher Gernigon invented Plex’Eat. A plastic cylinder that resembles a lampshade, this is is meant to be worn by diners at H.A.N.D Restaurant in Paris. Other eateries have quickly adopted the concept, with over 200 order requests from different countries flooding the designer’s inbox. Prepare to eat in your own stylish bubble soon!
39 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, France