Restaurant industry must learn to adapt to a brave new world

Alone together concept, credit: Object Space Place

No more queues, staggered mealtimes and online menus could be just some of the ways restaurants change in the wake of Covid-19

This is the view of design company Object Space Place, which has shared its vision of how the hospitality sector will look when it gradually reopens after the current crisis. 

“Right now, we don’t know what the UK regulations will be, but I expect one of the biggest constraints will be on the maximum number of covers,” said company founder David Chenery, speaking at an online seminar hosted by industry journal Code Hospitality.

David’s concept for restaurants post coronavirus, a report called Alone Together, features hand-washing basins in entrance ways, separate exits and pick-up areas for takeaway deliveries, easy-to-clean surfaces and trolleys for people to collect their own food. 

In other countries, restaurants have placed crosses on tables to stop people sitting near each other, or installed screens between them. One Amsterdam establishment has even set up mini private-dining greenhouses by a river.

“When restaurants eventually reopen, there are going to be some alien elements to our regular haunts due to physical distancing – be it different layouts, how we order, how we’re greeted and even the simple task of going to the loo,” said Adam Hyman, founder of Code Hospitality. 
“A lot will come down to the confidence of restaurants in how they deal with it.” 

Words by Anna-Marie Julyan, originally published in Waitrose & Partners Weekend, view the latest issue online here

May 2020