In an effort to enforce social-distancing guidelines, restaurants around the world are getting creative about how to set the mood in half-empty dining rooms and how to let patrons know to sit here, not there.
Mannequins clad in 1940s-era clothing occupy some tables in the dining area of the Inn at Little Washington, a Michelin three-star restaurant in bucolic Rappahannock County, Virginia.
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires restaurants to reopen at 50 percent capacity to maintain social distancing. When the restaurant reopens on May 29, Chef Patrick O’Connell will seat the mannequins at vacant tables.
Paula Melehes, owner of the Open Hearth Restaurant in Taylor, South Carolina, told her local NBC news station that she ordered blow-up dolls from Amazon — “the G-rated kind” — and placed them at every other table to let human customers feel like the place wasn’t so empty.
Melehes also installed a hand sanitizer dispenser, started using disposable menus, and is doing temperature checks of employees and patrons. “We can’t afford a shutdown,” she said.
These days, life-sized mannequins are seated at the famous Cafe Central coffeehouse in the Innere Stadt, Vienna, Austria. Since Austria reopened all cafes and restaurants on May 15, several Viennese bars and cafes are strategically placing mannequins in their establishments to help customers maintain space and maintain strict social-distancing laws.
In Germany, restaurants must keep diners at a social distance of 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) apart. Ulrike Haase, the owner of the Hotel Haase in Laatzen, a town in Lower Saxony, has positioned lifelike dolls at the tables of her restaurant to make it look less empty.
In the picturesque city of Schwerin, in northeastern Germany, the owner of the Cafe Rothe gave patrons hats with pool noodles attached, as a playful reminder to stay at a safe distance.
At Mediamatic ETEN, a waterfront restaurant and bar in Amsterdam, diners are seated in private mini greenhouses big enough for three. The so-called Serres Séparée are so popular that they are sold out through the end of June.
Source: Thanks https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2020/05/19/photos-restaurants-are-using-mannequins-blow-up-dolls-and-more-to-enforce-social-distancing/