From "cones of safety" to sanitising tunnels, innovators are helping restaurants to get back on their feet.
One of the industries worst hit by lockdowns around the world is the hospitality industry. As places where food, drink and socialising all meet, restaurants were seen as hotspots for the transmission of the virus and thus were forced to close, with many unable to reopen due to the financial hit.
However, those readying themselves to open up again as lockdowns ease in many regions are having to think practically and innovatively about how to ensure both the enjoyment and the safety of their customers. Innovations in the restaurant space have been some of the most inventive we’ve seen reacting to the pandemic, and here are seven spotted by Springwise that aim to ensure both style and safety within the new “normal” dining-out experience.
1. CHAIN CURTAINS PROVIDE STYLISH SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR DINERS
Following the coronavirus shutdowns, businesses around the world are struggling to put safety measures in place so they can reopen. This “new normal” includes barriers and physical distancing between workers and customers. While many types of businesses are installing plastic barriers, the hospitality industry is developing more aesthetically pleasing alternatives. Spanish metal chain manufacturer Kriskadecor is proposing that its décor chains could be a perfect solution.
The company develops “curtains” made from anodised aluminium chains, to “manage the flow of people, signpost common spaces or create different environments” without the need to use bulky structures. The chain partitions can be customised with different colours, shapes, and dimensions to suit any space. Thanks to a specialised design process, any picture, pattern or corporate design can also be reproduced, with each link acting as a pixel to form a complete image on the chain curtain.
2. MODULAR KIT TRANSFORMS PAVEMENTS INTO SAFE DINING SPACES
Architecture and design company The Rockwell Group have created an adaptable template for safe outdoor dining. The modular restaurant kits are available in sizes ranging from 30 to 216 seats. They provide all the structures needed for a business to take over adjacent pavements and streets.
Wooden decking covers the pavements, semi-private booths and carefully spaced tables, provide a safe distance between patrons. Erected sanitation units also allow workers to regularly wash their hands. The kits have been designed to be affordable, adaptable and quick to assemble, as a means for financially stricken businesses to get back on their feet as soon as possible.
3. DESIGNER CREATES CONE OF SAFETY FOR DINING OUT
French designer, Christophe Gernigon, has created a cone of safety that allows restaurant diners to socialise and socially distance at the same time. Gernigon created the aesthetically-pleasing cones to allow diners to safely share food and company in a small space, and to help restaurants to re-open safely.
Gernigon’s visor, called the Plex’Eat, consists of a plexiglass cone that hangs from the ceiling above each diner. The cone is designed to fit over your head and shoulders and has a shape similar to that of the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by health workers. The see-through shields curve up at the rear to allow diners to enter and exit easily. The Plex’Eat shields are designed to be easy to disassemble and clean and could potentially incorporate a light.
MORE COVID INNOVATIONS FROM SPRINGWISE
4. CONTACTLESS DINING KIT SERVES RE-OPENING RESTAURANTS
As restaurants around the world prepare to cautiously open up again, many are wondering how best to organise their business in order to allow for social distancing. American restaurant tech company Presto is hoping to make this process easier by providing a contactless dining kit free to restaurants that request it.
The Presto kit provides QR code stickers and tent cards that allow diners to view the menu and place their order using their phones. For diners who don’t have a phone, or don’t want to use it, orders can also be displayed and placed using a tablet, which is included in the kit. They are then sent directly to the restaurant’s own point of sale system, eliminating the need for staff to enter them into the POS systems. Diners can add items at any time, again, using the tablet or their phones.
5. LOCATION-LESS RESTAURANT THRIVES DURING CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN
Middle Eastern-inspired LA startup Bowlila is pioneering the world of ghost kitchens. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, they don’t have a location. Instead, the trendy, Instagram-worthy chickpea bowls are based out of a colony ghost kitchen in West Los Angeles and prepare food solely for delivery.
Together with 25 other restaurants and various brands providing delivery and pick up, they each have their own small kitchen for takeout and delivery options. Inspired by cuisine from around the world, including Asian, Caribbean and European cultures, Adlah and Badr have put their culinary experiences together to chef up some tasty bowls in West LA and Santa Monica. Balila is also completely plant-based, and almost everything is gluten-free.
6. SANITISING TUNNELS AND BOOTHS COULD HELP RETAILERS FIGHT COVID-19
Mumbai-based retail décor firm, Surreal Design Studio, has created sanitising tunnels and booths that can be used at the entrance of high-density public hotspots. These walk-in systems provide individuals with a touch-free experience and can sanitise them within a five-second time frame. They are fitted with an integrated supply and drainage system to ensure no spillage or maintenance issues. With social distancing measures in place, the tunnels allow for approximately 750 walk-ins per hour.
The systems come in two styles: a tunnel model and a booth model, which have three design variants each. The two styles differ in their length, the number of sprinklers and their liquid tank capacity. The tunnel model is the larger of the two — is eight feet long, has six sprinklers and a tank capacity of 175 litres.
7. INFLATABLE FACE SHIELD ALLOWS WEARERS TO DINE SAFELY
Italian architect and design studio MARGstudio has created a lightweight face shield designed specifically to allow people to socialise together. With normal social styles and rules being held at bay for an indefinite period of time, new PPE designs are providing solutions. Named Soffio, which means “blow” in English, the MARGstudio face shield allows wearers to sit near each other without the risk of infection.
Made from a transparent plastic visor supported by an inflatable PVC frame, the shield extends far enough from the face to allow for eating and drinking. It also leaves the ears uncovered, for normal hearing. Weighing very little, it should also remain comfortable over a period of several hours.
Written By: Holly Hamilton
13th July 2020