Restaurants Reimagine the Dining-Out Experience Post Pandemic

From take-out-only to protective over-the-table greenhouses, restaurateurs around the world seek ways to convince customers it's safe to eat out

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Dining out in a post-coronavirus world just isn't going to be the same again.

As restaurateurs seek to attract customers, the use of enticing words such as "intimate," "cozy" and maybe even "atmospheric" may fall by the wayside, NBC News reports. Diners have always been concerned about safety but now they will want clear indications that the space is germ-free, said Alex Susskind, a professor and associate dean at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

One Houston restaurateur now offers outdoor seating only. Coltivare has bottles of hand sanitizer and silverware vacuum-sealed in plastic at each table. Diners wait in their cars until their tables are ready. Waiters clad in masks and gloves take orders for drinks, appetizers and main courses all at once.

Some owners are introducing out-of-the box solutions to adhere to emerging advice. The Inn at Little Washington, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Virginia, plans to seat dressed up mannequins at empty tables when it reopens May 29. In the Netherlands, restaurant owner Willem Velthoven, who runs Mediamatic ETEN, is hosting diners in individual glass greenhouses. Waiters serve food on a plank that fits through a sliding door on the greenhouse.

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