What are some of the ways people can dine out while keeping their distance? Browse our list to find some of the quirky habits sweeping the world as restaurants express their definition of a “new normal” in ways society has never seen before.
1 – Oversized Paper Crowns and Triple Onion Whoppers from Burger King
Source: Burger King
Remember getting your very own Burger King Crown as a kid? The latest version debuted last month for adults in Germany, with a brim so wide Whopper fans can’t help but maintain a safe distance.
The QSR known for its flame-grilled taste is experimenting in other parts of the world with even more hilarious initiatives, like launching the world’s first Social Distancing Whoppers in Italy with a slogan that translates to “The Whopper With Triple the Onions That Helps Others Stay Away from You.”
Who knew at the start of 2020 that onion breath could actually serve a useful purpose?
2 – Social Distancing Mannequins
Source: WYFF4 News
One restaurant in South Carolina is determined to make the in-restaurant dining experience feel like a pre-coronavirus Saturday night out. When South Carolina allowed dine-in seating for the first time since March last week, owners of The Open Hearth ordered mannequins from Amazon to occupy the empty seats necessary for maintaining at least six feet of distance between tables.
Paula Starr and Jimmy Melehes first had to dress them, choosing formal attire replete with fancy beaded necklaces and sport jackets. Now, human customers won’t feel so alone when they see the restaurant with a fraction of the usual number of human guests to comply with governor Henry McMaster’s 50% capacity mandate.
Although the Melehes’s grandson thought they looked creepy, the couple simply hopes to make their guests laugh as they eat somewhere other than their homes, cars or picnic tables for the first time in months.
3 – Pool Noodle Hats
Café Rothe in Schwerin, Germany, is taking a more “heady” approach, you could say, to social distancing—but literally. Guests are donning pool noodle hats as they sip beer outdoors, with the occasional clack of colliding noodles letting them know they are too close to their fellow humans.
No mannequins, signs or even tape measuring six-foot distances here – just good old fashioned headgear that makes customers more alert to their surroundings and just may cause a spill or two judging by the picture above. Perhaps the next rule should be “No quick head turning!” just to be extra safe.
The owner, Jaqueline Rothe, said she usually has 56 tables, with a mix of outdoor and indoor seating, which has been reduced to 20 total tables since resuming dine-in service in May. She meant the pool hats as a lighthearted way to show guests how difficult it is to maintain their social distance—especially in a café that previously sat parties less than three feet apart.
4 – Shield Pods for Contactless Dating
Ever wonder what it’s like to be in your own bubble…while on a date? Well thanks to the coronavirus and some creative work from French designer Christophe Gernigon, now you can.
PLEX’EAT is a Plexiglas covering suspended above patrons so they can go on a post-COVID dinner date without directly breathing each other’s air. The simple design allows for easy disinfection, while the echo customers hear as they’re trying to hold a conversation is a sign their respiratory droplets are being effectively safeguarded from cross-human contact.
Gernigon saw others try to offer the same functionality with shields that reminded him of prison visiting rooms, and so he tried to make a more chic solution that hangs like a lampshade so customers don’t have to handle or fit PLEX’EAT in place before they begin dining.
5 – Bumper Bar Tables
Source: Baltimore Sun
This next innovation shows that keeping a safe distance doesn’t have to be so static. Already tired of following social distancing tape marking your spot on the floor? Sick of hitting your head on that pesky plastic shield pod? Then inner tube bumper tables just might be the coronavirus risk minimization strategy for you.
Fish Tales, a bar and restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, is doing just that. Guests simply slip into an inner tube and go about their business drinking and socializing with friends and strangers. The design came from a Baltimore-based event planning company, and it even has wheels so guests can take their bumper table out to the parking lot and allow for socially distanced tailgating.
Have your own cool social distancing ideas or unique social distancing pictures?