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How can restaurants prepare better for social distancing? Designers show us how

With the latest government measures for social distancing put in place, Hong Kong’s restaurants have been pushed to react quickly with newly established daytime dining hours, takeaway and delivery options, as well as improved distancing arrangements between tables to ensure that venues operate at the allowed 50 percent capacity.

The persistent concern about the need for social distancing will likely mean that many customers will not feel comfortable with crowded dining spaces when they do opt to dine-in. Helped by designers, restaurant professionals are looking at solutions that could help them get their businesses back on their feet.

Here are some ideas that designers 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.

Cellophane screens

(Image credit: 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 centre of each table.

Individual greenhouses

In the Netherlands’ capital Amsterdam, the Eten restaurant in the city’s artistic centre 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”).

‘Plexi corners’

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 excluding VAT (approximately HK$66,530) for 36 chairs and five modules.

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.