Going out to eat is supposed to be fun. It should involve less work and less stress than cooking for yourself, and it should just be an enjoyable experience. Alas, under the spectre of Covid-19, dining out can be anxiety-inducing, awkward, and even a little furtive.
For now, there aren’t any completely no-risk situations when it comes to dining out, shopping, or doing much else during a pandemic. Fortunately, by taking precautions and by going to restaurants that are managing risk while providing the hospitality you crave, diners can still enjoy eating out.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and some folks have really delivered, finding innovative ways to implement distancing measures without sacrificing the best qualities of the dining experience.
Here are a few beautiful spaces designed to bring back the joy of dining out, even during Covid-19.
Dining rooms with a view
With classic Dutch practicality, Mediamatic ETEN in Amsterdam has built individual dining greenhouses along their waterfront to address distancing precautions with style. The restaurant is part of the Mediamatic Arts Center, and the greenhouses, called Serres Séparées (meaning ‘separated greenhouses’ in French), opened for diners in May.
There are two- and four-person greenhouses, and dishes are delivered on long planks so that the shielded and gloved servers never get too close to the table. Diners not only get to dine together in a cozy space protected from the elements, they can also enjoy top-notch distancing, great airflow and a spectacular view.
Ampia Rooftop offers authentic Italian fare on their 4,500 square foot rooftop terrace in the financial district of New York City. Like ETEN, Ampia has installed small-table dining greenhouses alongside colorful plants and Italian artwork to create a physically distanced yet intimate dining atmosphere.
Delightful dining in a geodesic dome has a community feel
OutSource is a sprawling outdoor dining area that encompasses umbrella patio tables and specially-designed geodesic domes made from canvas and natural wood. The collection of individual eating and drinking spaces, located in the front parking lot of The Source Hotel in Denver, provides a stylish and physically distanced area where customers can enjoy food and drinks from any of the Market Hall vendors.
The idea behind the domes, which were designed by Mathieu Mudie of Zeppelin Development, is to create a much-missed sense of community while enjoying a meal or a drink out and maintaining social distancing.
Deciding where to dine has gotten much harder with Covid-19, and Klēn’s unique application lets you quickly check if your chosen venue for dining out is taking all the precautions they can, to protect the health of their staff and guests.
Antique windows and doors make this space even more inviting
Not all restaurants have a large outdoor area or a spectacular view to work with, but doing a lot with a little can sometimes enhance rather than diminish the space.
After pandemic restrictions shut down in-person service back in March, The Heatley Pub in Vancouver, B.C., faced a serious challenge when it came to addressing local regulations issued for reopening, particularly social distancing measures. To create the right conditions to comply with distancing guidelines without sacrificing atmosphere, the owner upcycled antique glass-paned windows and doors to create physical barriers while maintaining the classic style and visual appeal of the space.
Corner tables and booths are always the first-pick for diners and the addition of these beautiful windows and doors gives every table the appeal of a corner table.
Eating and drinking amongst the plants
In Liverpool, England, the city council and local hospitality businesses worked with engineering firm Arup and green design firm Meristem Design to create ‘parklets’, popup green seating spaces around the city.
The components are a cross between furniture and planter, seating that works as a buffer between groups of guests. Modular planters incorporate Perspex™ clear acrylic dividers with hardy, weather-tolerant plants to transform outdoor city spaces into dining and drinking areas with a garden atmosphere and physically distanced seating.
Originally designed to use public streets that had been closed off to cars, Arup has been designing and building more versatile options that can work in parking lots or other outdoor spaces. Modular components are stackable, can be sanitized easily, and are simple enough to reorganize quickly to accommodate different group sizes.
People are ready to eat out again
According to a recent survey, 59% of respondents said that they planned to eat out within the first three months of reopening. However, many of them still have safety concerns about doing so.
Not only does the appeal of the space and the hospitality of the staff have to lure diners back in, but businesses also have to overcome these concerns and reassure customers that their social distancing and sanitation protocols are beyond reproach.
Through our accessible, AI-driven application, Klēn keeps businesses apprised of changes to CDC recommendations, industry regulations, and local and state mandates, making it easier for restaurants to stay on top of guidelines and demonstrate to consumers exactly how they’re prioritizing health and safety.