20+ Photos Of Restaurants Reopening Show How Dining Out Has Changed For Now
Across the world, countries are beginning to ease lockdown and stay-at-home orders in favor of cautious and phased reopenings. But while a number of local governments have given businesses like restaurants the OK to welcome back patrons, those reopenings come with a heavy emphasis on social distancing, face masks, and other safety precautions. As a result, eating out doesn't look the same as it once did. In fact, photos of restaurants reopening show dining out has changed, at least for now, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
After weeks of forced closures or operating only take-out and delivery services, many restaurants are eager to get back to business in ways that will, hopefully, keep both diners and employees safe. Of course, reopening looks different country to country, state to state, and even county to county. In some areas, restaurants have been limited to offering only outdoor dining while others have been allowed to reopen indoor dining spaces at significantly reduced capacity.
One constant, however, is the emphasis on social distancing. Whether it's filling empty tables with mannequins and pumping in fake background noise to mimic a busy restaurant or erecting structures and partitions between tables to keep diners separated, restaurants are finding unique ways to maintain social distancing among guests.
From private dining spaces to stuffed animal companions, here's how restaurants are reopening with a new focus on social distancing:
Welcome To Your Private Dining Greenhouse
Novy's Brasserie in Hagen, Germany, erected small greenhouses around outdoor tables to create private dining spaces that meld social distancing with elegant ambiance. As a bonus, the greenhouses will enable the restaurant to serve patrons rain or shine.
A Bear-y Busy Eatery
Another clever restaurateur in Hofheim, Germany, used stuffed teddy bears to ensure dinners leave plenty of space between themselves and other patrons. Some 16 stuffed bears enjoy drinks at tables reserved especially for them, and spaced between areas where regular patrons are free to sit, at "Beef'n Beer."
At the Maison Saigon restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, stuffed pandas help guests social distance from other diners as eateries throughout the Southeast Asian country begin to reopen following a partial national coronavirus lockdown.
Capybaras, Red Pandas, Oh My!
You can dine among the wildlife at the restaurant at the Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan. To help guests practice social distancing while grabbing a bite to eat, the zoo has placed stuffed capybaras and red pandas in specific seats throughout the eatery. Talk about a wild dining experience.
How To Feed Your Dragon
Bar-B-Q Plaza, a restaurant located inside Icon Siam luxury shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, has opted to use friendly-looking cardboard dinosaurs to encourage social distancing among patrons upon reopening.
Is This Seat Taken?
Real life customers found themselves seated beside mannequins at Cafe Livres in Essen, Germany. With restaurants having to operate at reduced capacity due to the novel coronavirus, some like Cafe Livres have found unique ways to remind guests to leave extra space between themselves. According to Getty, the mannequins are being loaned to the cafe by a local theater.
The Dramatic Lives Of Mannequins
But German cafes aren't the only eateries to use mannequins for social distancing. A three-star Michelin restaurant located at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia, has also tapped stylish mannequins in costumes reminiscent of the 1940s to occupy otherwise empty tables when it reopens May 29. Upon reopening, the restaurant will initially have to operate at just 50% of its full capacity in order to allow for proper social distancing.
Dining Among Cardboard Cutouts
Human-like placeholders have also been used for social distancing by a restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Five Dock Dining strategically placed cardboard cutouts of different people throughout its dining area prior to its May 15 reopening. According to Getty, restaurants and other eateries are able to seat no more than 10 patrons at one time and must allow for each person to have a minimum of 13 square feet to themselves. Five Dock Dining's owner told Getty he hoped the cardboard cutouts helped guests feel like they were having a normal dining experience despite the extra empty space around them.
Can Blow-Up Dolls Help Diners Practice Safe Social Distancing?
Open Hearth Restaurant in South Carolina restaurant is using blow-up dolls to help customers maintain proper social distancing, according to NBC affiliate DFW. Owners of Open Hearth Restaurant told the news station they thought the dolls, which have all been dressed and accessorized, were a nicer option than simply blocking off booths and tables with caution tape.
In Ocean City, Maryland, Fish Tales Bar & Grill has been experimenting with a new dining concept in the wake of coronavirus-related social distancing measures: bumper tables. According to NPR, the tables were designed by a local event production company and aim to keep diners 6 feet apart no matter how close they may try to scoot. Each bumper table features a large inner tube around a wooden donut-shaped table. Diners stand inside the table's donut hole and can wheel their table around as needed, all while maintaining 6 feet of distance from other diners.
Waiter, Roll Up The Partition Please
Restaurants and cafes across Italy have taken additional precautions upon reopening earlier this month. In Milan, for example, Goga Cafe installed plexiglass partitions around tables in an effort to other protect diners from other patrons' respiratory droplets.
Some restaurants in Thailand have also implemented physical barriers, like the foldable transparent screen seen here, between diners as a means of limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Your Side, My Side
A street restaurant in Bangkok's Chinatown installed clear plastic dividers on each of its tables in an effort to help diners both social distance and protect their food from their neighbor's respiratory droplets.
Say Goodbye To Being Crowded
Employees at a beer garden in Munich, Germany, made sure tables were spaced an appropriate length apart from each other ahead of the venues May 18 reopening. According to Getty, restaurants and beer gardens were able to reopen for outdoor dining only if they took certain precautions, including ensuring guests practiced social distancing while eating and drinking.
Mask On, Mask Off
A diner at Galatoire's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, drinks while wearing a cloth face mask. New Orleans allowed restaurants to begin operating in-house dining at significantly reduced capacity earlier this month as part of the city's phased reopening plan.
Outdoor Dining, Just In Time For Summer
Plenty of diners were eager to sit down for drinks and more at L'escale restaurant in Greenwich, Connecticut. After weeks of closures and stay-at-home restrictions, Connecticut began a phased reopening earlier this month, which enabled restaurants to welcome customers for outdoor dinning at tables spaced appropriately for social distancing.
Stepped Up Cleaning
A waiter wipes down an outdoor table at Argentino Las Olas, a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in preparation for customers. Local government officials allowed restaurants to reopen to diners with some restrictions earlier this month as part of its phased reopening plans. Along with more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of tables, diners can expect to see waiters in masks and gloves.
Disinfecting Menus Between Guests
Staff at Galatoire's in New Orleans, Louisiana, disinfect menus during the restaurant's dinner service. According to Getty, Galatoire's has been able to reopen at 25% capacity as part of New Orleans' phased reopening. It and other restaurants are expected to maintain new cleaning and disinfecting protocols and ensure guests and staff practice social distancing.
Individual packages of coffee creamer and other condiments and seasonings stand ready for customers use under signs labeling them as "clean" at J. Christopher's restaurant in Brookhaven, Georgia. The state allowed restaurants to begin welcoming customers for dine-in service in late April.
Hand sanitizer sits next to a sign reading, "Sanitized, ready to be seated" on an outdoor dining table in Miami, Florida. As eateries began reopening across Miami earlier this month, diners saw new safety precautions such as tables sanitized between each party.
A mother eats with her two children in the outdoor dining area of Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee in late April. Tennessee was one of the first states to begin allowing restaurants to reopen to diners at reduced capacity and with established social distancing measures.
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