Now that lockdown is coming to an end around the world, restaurants will soon be re-opening.
But persistent concern about the need for social distancing will likely mean that many customers will not feel comfortable with crowded dining spaces. Helped by designers, restaurant professionals are looking at solutions that could help them get their businesses back on their feet. Here are some ideas they have been exploring, which may soon have an impact on the layout of our favourite eateries.
The Plex’Eat concept
Christophe Gernigon, who leads the design studio of the same name, has taken advantage of his time off during lockdown to come up with this concept of suspended plexiglass bells that will ensure a minimal barrier between customers for optimal social distancing.
Cellophane screens by Patrick Jouin
The designer and close associate of chef Alain Ducasse, for whom he has designed several restaurant interiors, most notably the dining room of the Michelin three-star Plaza Athénée, has been working on a concept to protect the health of diners and waiting staff. Patrick Jouin is proposing to make use of cellophane, of the kind that is commonly supplied to florists, to create an enclosure around each table. The advantage of this material is that it can be changed regularly. Sketches by the designer also feature an elliptical barrier in the center of each table.
In the Netherlands’ capital Amsterdam, the Eten restaurant in the Mediamatic Biotoop has presented a concept of individual glasshouses for each table: a romantic solution for couples who would like a private space all to themselves. The project has been christened “Serres séparées” (French for “separate greenhouses”).
Designer Frédéric Tabary has developed a concept for plexiglass enclosures to maintain a distance between individual groups and other diners. The “Plexi corner”, which he has posted on Instagram, is also available for sale. Price: 7,500 euros (excluding VAT) for 36 chairs and five modules.