Dining out is just one of the many facets of everyday life that has transformed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With worldwide safety precautions and restrictions, restaurants had no choice but to take dining in bizarre yet innovative directions. To abide by social distancing rules, your next restaurant epxerience may just be in your own private bubble or joined by stuffed animals. Here, L'OFFICIEL rounds up the unconventional ways people are dining out across the world.
Across New York City, restaurants have adjusted to COVID-19 precautions with outdoor dining and plentiful takeout options. As the fall temperatures drop, many restaurants are setting up plastic tents and bubbles for dining-in. Prior to the pandemic, 230 Fifth already established its “heated igloos” for visitors with sofas, a TV, and a comfy fireplace. Along with a view of the city, it makes the perfect place to sit back and have a drink just in time for the holidays.
Located near the Louvre museum, Parisian restaurant H.A.N.D. requires guests to enjoy their meal in a new socially-distanced way–under a clear hood that allows you to safely dine near others. French restaurants were notably among the first to use this lampshade-resembling device called Plex’Eat. Created by designer Christophe Gernigon, the Plex’Eat allows guests to enjoy their food without having to feel constrained to a mask. It’s not conventional by any means, but it's becoming the norm for dining out.
While it’s uncomfortable to dine in an empty restaurant, places in Lithuania and Germany found an alternative to that. Restaurants across Europe are relying on mannequins and blow-up dolls to safely fill up the space. Located in Vilnius, Lithuania, Cozy has guests dine among fashionably dressed mannequins. It’s a unique alternative to social distancing that’ll keep you entertained.
Across the world, customers are being forced to dine with non-humans—and in this case, animals. To enforce social distancing and limit the total number of people dining at a time, restauarants from Paris to Japan have opted to host stuffed animals or cardboard cutouts at their tables. In Thailand, a grill chain called Bar B Q Plaza offers its dragon mascot as companions to diners.