The on-premise takes a light-hearted approach to social distancing

Operators are developing creative solutions to enforce social distancing and to help make up for the lack of atmosphere in venues that are emptier due to capacity limits


With strict guidelines in place across the world, the on-premise is tasked with balancing government regulations post-lockdown alongside a need to entice customers back through their doors. Health and safety measures, such as temperature scanning for both customers and staff, reduced seating capacity, registering for contact tracing, increased cleaning protocols and protective wear for staff, are some of the ways business owners are helping to mitigate risks of infections.

In addition to this, some businesses are also tapping into the need for light relief and fun during these trying times. Operators are developing humorous ways to ensure customers distance, or are using creative solutions to make up for the lack of atmosphere in venues that are emptier due to regulations around capacity limits. These approaches are also garnering widespread coverage across social and traditional media. We take a look at some examples from around the world:



While restrictions began to lift in mid-May, lockdown was more substantially eased for much of Australia from 1st June 2020, however rules vary across the country. In Sydney, one bar owner has developed a quirky way for customers to feel less lonely while social distancing practices in place. At Five Dock Dining, cardboard cut outs of other patrons have been placed at empty tables, while crowd noise and background chatter is being played, to add atmosphere and fill the empty space.

Social distancing on-premise in Thailand



In Bangkok, Thailand, one restaurant and bar has developed a fun but clear way of showing customers where they should sit to allow proper spacing.

Social distancing on-premise in Thailand



At Café & Konditorei Rothe in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany the owner provided customers with hats fixed with pool noodles. Owner Jacqueline Rothe, said: “In these difficult times, it’s a pleasure to make others smile.”

Social distancing on-premise in Germany

France also began to open its bars and restaurants in early June, but with strict hygiene rules in place. In preparing for full re-opening, Parisian restaurant H.A.N.D. has promoted the possible use of lampshade-like personal screens for customers.

Social distancing on-premise in France

In Sweden, you will find a bespoke restaurant for one. Bord för En, meaning Table for One, serves just one single person each day, with the diner invited to sit at a table in the middle of a field, and have their food delivered via a pulley and rope system, avoiding any need for interaction.

Social distancing on-premise in Sweden



Mr Fogg’s Residence, a cocktail bar in London, plans to fill unused seats with mannequins dressed in Victorian costume, tapping into the characters from Jules Verne’s book, Around the World in 80 Days, which inspired the collection of Mr. Fogg’s bars.

Social distancing on-premise in the UK



Tourist-focused business, Fish Tales bar and restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, has begun promoting bumper car tables for when it re-opens, with a rubber ring on wheels, providing a fun solution to keeping customers spaced apart.

Social distancing on-premise in the USA

For more examples of how the on-premise is addressing social distancing rules, subscribers can log into IWSR’s Radius Innovation Tracker.


You may also be interested in reading:

Easing out of lockdown: the consumer at the forefront
Why will beer prove resilient in the aftermath of Covid-19?
Will the night trade adapt as the on-premise reopens?

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