Dine and distance: Dutch ‘greenhouse’ restaurants allow social-distance dining

A Dutch restaurant has come up with a way for people to dine in public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Eten Restaurant, part of the Mediamatic Biotoop centre in Amsterdam, has tested greenhouse-like booths for customers to eat in, keeping them protected from contracting COVID-19 from other diners.

The dining concept is called Serres Sépparées (Separate Greenhouses in English) and allows guests to enjoy a plant-based, four-course meal with a beautiful waterside view of the city, the restaurant’s Facebook page reads.

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Serres Sépparées is one of our new dining concepts. With the current situation it's difficult to open a restaurant with limited space. So why don't we add to our location and create a safe and intimate home for partners to reconnect, with the outside world at their own leisure. ⠀ ⠀ Our signature plant-based cuisine will be available for guests to enjoy in one bubbles or in the newly renovated main restaurant. ⠀ ⠀ #gastronomy #smartdining #diner #plantbased #food #restaurant #mediamatic #dijksgracht #oosterdok #amsterdam #sunset

A post shared by Mediamatic ETEN (@mediamatic_eten) on

Open for bookings from May 21 to June 27, the idea, Mediamatic’s website reads, was born from a desire to “create a safe and intimate home for partners to reconnect, with the outside world at their own leisure.”

Dutch restaurants are closed to the public until at least May 19, though kitchens are open for takeout.

“We are now learning how to do the cleaning, how to do the service, how to get the empty plates out again in an elegant way, so you still feel taken care of nicely,” Willem Velthoven of Mediamatic told Reuters.

Per the outlet, the Netherlands’ restaurant association has said that even if restaurants can reopen, they will only be able to offer limited capacity.

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Servers will maintain the recommended six-foot distance, serving with gloves on through a door.

Linda Karlsson and Rasmus Persson are set to open their pop-up restaurant Bord för en (Table for One in English) from May 10 until Aug. 1.

Only one person, adhering to social-distancing protocols, can dine at the table situated in a meadow next to the couple’s home in the remote village of Ransäter, according to their official website.

The solo diner, sitting in the field, will receive their food from the kitchen by a basket attached to a rope.

“We want to be able to concentrate on that sole guest when preparing the meal. But also, it is a way for us to be able to control that the guest’s experience will be totally COVID-19-free,” Karlsson explained to Insider.

Dishes will be cleaned twice and the table will be sanitized between guests.

Each meal, Insider reports, will consist of three courses made by Persson, along with drinks crafted by world-renowned mixologist Joel Söderbäck.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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