As Bangkok’s lockdown measures are eased, here’s how our city’s top restaurants are getting ready to reopen and welcome diners once more.
Entering Phase 2 of the emergency decree, we’re happily welcoming a slew of re-openings, including the return of restaurants and dine-ins. As we ease into this new normal way of life, it seems that things may finally be falling into place. Of course, while we’re thrilled about getting our first haircut in months, and the prospect of finally ordering at a restaurant and eating there too, it’s a little early to fully rejoice. If anything, the flattening curve is only a sign that these social distancing measures are working, and that we should remain vigilant in our quest for hygiene and health, so we can finally put the pandemic behind us. Understanding this, the city’s various restaurants are taking serious measures to ensure their spaces are safe and Covid-19 free. We spoke to a few spots that are reopening their doors, to put together this rough guide to how different dining establishments are approaching life post-lockdown.
Face Masks, Gloves, and Everything in Between.
Now somewhat of an iconic social distancing necessity, face masks reign supreme on the hygiene guidelines of Bangkok’s F&B industry. Restaurant staff are required to wear them while serving guests, and guests are encouraged — at times even required — to have face masks on hand when entering various establishments.
At the Ministry of Crab, employees are asked to wear gloves, shoes and face masks at all times while working, and even the chefs in the kitchen are required to cook with gloves and face shields on. They even make it a point to provide all guests with special envelopes where they can place their face masks during the course of their meal.
Siam Kempinski Hotel has taken their protective measures up a level, by launching the Kempinski White Gloves Service, where all employees must wear white gloves and face masks during any guest interactions, including of course, the team at ALATi by Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.
Temperature Checks and Personal Details
A big part of the new normal is, naturally, the temperature check. For instance, Siam Tea Room at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Hotel performs temperature checks at the entrance, to ensure all visitors are safe and fever-free. Their contact details are also taken on arrival, in an effort to help flatten the curve through the power of information. Those planning to drop by ALATi also needn’t worry, as Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok is now running mandatory temperature checks on all residents, visitors, and suppliers who arrive at the hotel.
Not only is the Ministry of Crab checking those in the restaurant, but they also take the temperatures of their own delivery personnel daily — with contactless delivery for all clients implemented on top of that. Under the newly-introduced ‘King Power Care Power’ initiative, visitors at Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar go through a whole process at the entrance, from visitor registration, to temperature checkup, and finally an x-ray scan for security screening purposes.
1.5 Metres Apart, Always.
While some guests are still a little miffed about enforced social distancing measures, here’s the silver lining — it really is proving to work. While we totally understand that, after months of only meeting people through a computer screen, it’s only natural to want to get up close and personal once we’re outside, it’s important for us to not be overly hasty in forgetting the 1.5m rule right away.
To help guests figure out where exactly they can and cannot sit, restaurants are taking precautions like spacing seats out, and setting limits to how many can sit at a table. Siam Tea Room has placed yellow tapes throughout their space, to serve as a visual guide to help guests social distance while standing in line, while Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar has split their dining tables to ensure more space between diners. Some places are even taking things a step further, and placing large plastic screens on tables, to help offer protection for diners who are sitting across from each other.
If you’ve been out at all since the lockdown, chances are you’ve come across a hand sanitiser station. In an effort to help visitors and staff alike stay safe and free of germs, the Ministry of Crab has placed hand sanitisers throughout the restaurant, and also takes measures to clean all areas every hour with antiseptic solution — including dining rooms, tables, chairs, toilets, and especially frequently touched spots such as handles, doorknobs, and table counters.
ALATi has commissioned hygiene products supplier Diversey to provide enhanced cleaning plans, where wall charts and online guidelines help to visualise the flow of disinfection and restaurant cleaning in simple, straightforward steps.
At Siam Tea Room, all tables and chairs are thoroughly sanitised after each guest, while Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar sanitises all exposed surfaces, and equipment used during service. They’re also going cashless for the time being — an approach shared too by ALATi, where guests are offered a credit card scanner during payment.