For the restaurant industry, the last couple of months have been, if nothing else, quite clear-cut. With public dining outlawed, eateries the world over have had to shut up shop and ride the storm.
Now, with restrictions easing step by slow-and-steady step, the industry faces a different problem: how to re-open in a changed, still very viral world.
Some are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach, others are turning to takeout, but one riverside restaurant in the Netherlands has concocted a different social distancing strategy.
Mediamatic ETEN in Amsterdam is known for its craft brews and sun-kissed terrace, and is now debuting a row of ‘quarantine greenhouses’ – transparent sheds, designed to provide all the views with none of the human contact.
Lined up along the water’s edge, the plastic pods fit two diners apiece, and come with a four-course, plant-based menu. Meals are ferried to tables by gloved servers wearing face masks, using long planks of wood to carry the plates from a distance.
“In these times, we are inspired by contamination precautions and the redesign of togetherness,” writes the restaurant in a blogpost. “Our greenhouses protect you from the outside and others, while offering you a unique experience of intimate dining.
The restaurant is quick to note that the capsules are intended for people already living in the same household, and a two-person ticket will cost €100.
The project is still awaiting final permission from local authorities, and after two successful trials, Mediametic’s proprietors will be crossing every finger and toe for approval. They’re already sold out until the end of June.