Clever ways restaurants are social distancing

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 4 May 2020

While Level 4 of the national lockdown won’t offer any joy for South Africans hoping to dine out at restaurants, other nations have managed to come up with some creative ways isolate your dining experience.

In some parts of the world, a number of restaurants have attempted to reopen in a different way. These establishments are allowing booths to remain vacant between diners, while some have introduced perspex barriers between tables and providing bottles of sanitiser throughout.

Two European restaurants, have figured out some even more creative ways to enforce ‘social-distancing dining’. Whether their methods are effective is another matter entirely, but we do admire their imagination!

Greenhouse dining

In the Netherlands, the Mediamatic arts foundation in Amsterdam has totally changed up its dining area to accommodate foodies who want to stay safe but still go out to eat. Since the beginning of April, the staff have been renovating the vegan restaurant to accommodate better hygiene systems and to adapt to social distancing measures. The enclosed greenhouse-like restaurant area has been changed up to create miniature, individual greenhouses that accommodate two people whose food is delivered through the structure’s windows or door. These little glass houses are situated on the waterfront so some might say the views are better than before.

Image: Mediamatic/Facebook


Table for One

In Sweden, Bord för En is a unique pop-up restaurant that will serve only one diner a day. There are no waiting staff, and no other guests – just you and a three-course meal. The cost – that’s for you to decide. Diners may contribute what he or she can afford or what they deem sufficient. The restaurant is situated outdoors in a pretty meadow in Värmland, a few hours out of Stockholm. Lucky diners will get their own beautifully set table, and meals will be delivered mysteriously via a picnic basket suspended on a line. ‘We might be isolated, but do we spend time with ourselves?’ asked Bord för En co-founder Linda Karlsson. ‘This is an opportunity to do that.’

Image: Bord för En/Facebook


Little Fish Cafe

One other really clever idea comes from an Australian restaurant in New South Wales. While the Little Fish Cafe in Port Macquarie is closed in compliance with Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions, we did think their funny social distancing post was quite ingenious! In an image posted on social media, the staff are seen dining outdoors among the vineyards, equidistantly spaced with the help of the vines. With a wine glass in hand and a small table neatly laid out before them, the separated trio all toasted their gorgeous vineyard view – not a bad idea for the post-lockdown world.

Image: Little Fish Cafe/Facebook


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