As London's restaurants reopen after the lockdown, we take a look here and around the world at some of the industry's more creative solutions to the new normal of social distancing.
Plant-based Amsterdam restaurant Mediamatic ETEN used their main restaurant, which is situated in a greenhouse - as inspiration for their semi-alfresco solution. Their mini glasshouses - or Serres Séparées. As they put it "it suggests a sexy kind of intimacy". Although you're not going to be able to get up to much in those.
More info: Follow them on Instagram @mediamatic_eten
Separate and conquer
Initial ideas that tables would be separated by medical looking perspex screens quickly got the elbow, but restaurants have since devised more elegant ways to separate tables. Here (left to right) Purchases in Chichester and RIBA in Dublin show the way to do it.
At Olio e Pui in NYC's Greenwich Village they've even installed safety dividers for their outside seating as part of what they dubbed 'phase two' of their reopening plans. Judging by their photos, they seem to be doing a roaring grade as a result.
More info: Follow them on Instagram @olioepiu
At Lounge X cafe in Seoul they got ahead of the curve, opening up a cafe last year staffed largely by robots. There's a robot barista that's responsible for making the drip coffee and another that brings food and drink to the table. There's no word on whether you still have to tip...
More info: Follow them on Instagram @loungexcafe
Use tech to solve the problem
Been wondering how places like Yo Sushi! were going to work with issues over cross contamination? Well, they appear to have come up with a good solution. Everything is ordered and paid for via an app you load on to your phone - so no more laminated menus - and, critically, the conveyor belt is for individual orders. So there's no more grabbing dishes as you go past, but the system will turn on a green light at your table as your ordered dish arrives at it. Take a look at the video here.
More info: Follow them on Instagram @yosushiuk
Over the top PPE
At Mr Fogg's House of Botanicals, the theme of the bar lends itself to a particularly OTT approach to PPE. When this Fitzrovia bar reopens, the staff will be found wearing full beekeeping suits. We can only hope the place has air conditioning.
More info: Follow them on Instagram @mrfoggsgb
One idea we wouldn't suggest anyone employs is this from the Inn at Little Washington. The three Michelin-starred restaurant brought in stuffed mannequins to fill the 50% of tables it couldn't sell under reopening rules. Staff were even instructed to stop at the mannequin tables to 'check in' on those customers. Quite literally the stuff of nightmares.
More info: Follow them on Instagram @innatlittlewash
London's restaurants are reopening
We're tracking all the key London restaurants that are reopening on 4 July. If you're thinking of booking a reopened restaurants - then our guide is a must.
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