The restaurant industry makes predictions for the future, manufacturers lend a helping hand amid the pandemic, and Hong Kong International Airport installs full-body disinfection pods. All this and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
Experts weigh in on what dining may look like after COVID-19
As the world begins to look toward the post-pandemic future, Eater gathered predictions from 14 restaurant industry representatives, who collectively advise hundreds of establishments, about what the dining experience may be like in New York. Those interviewed forecasted a shift away from opulence and luxury, mandatory reservations for bar seating, single-use menus or ordering via smartphones, in addition to anticipated occupancy restrictions. One example Akash Mirchandani, vice president at restaurant-focused investment firm Kitchen Fund, gives: “With the iPhone/Android health data partnership where you can opt-in to track your exposure to COVID-19 on your cell phone, we may see restaurants asking customers to self-report this data, in addition to temperature checks before entering a restaurant.”
Architects develop innovative pods for socializing
Global architecture firm Scott Brownrigg has designed a potential solution to bring friends and families together without risking the transmission of COVID-19, according to Dezeen. The concept, called the Social Contact Pod, is a prefabricated structure made from cross-laminated timber panels that features a Perspex partition to allow people to see vulnerable relatives face-to-face. The easily assembled and sustainable design even contains a plastic membrane so that parties can engage in safe human contact or handholding. “As architects and designers, it is our duty to help to bring social contact back to the elderly and vulnerable in a safe and familiar way,” Ed Hayden, director at Scott Brownrigg, said in a statement. “We call upon our construction industry partners to join with us and create these social contact pods and bring contact back into their lives.”
Socially distant dining in practice
Dutch restaurant Mediamatic ETEN is offering patrons a cozy dining experience that follows social distance guidelines, reports CNN. The eatery has assembled a handful of “quarantine greenhouses,” where groups of two or three diners can enjoy an intimate four-course meal served by waiters wearing gloves and transparent face shields. Similarly, New York-based firm Tihany Design has developed lightweight, movable screens to act as partitions once restaurants begin to open. Aimed to blend into its surroundings, each screen is tailored to the restaurant’s existing interiors and “evoke a kind of public privacy that we feel might actually offer a positive spin on rebuilding the experience of dining out,” says managing partner Alessia Genova. “It becomes an opportunity to focus on the faces and food in front of you while still enjoying the atmosphere, the service, and everything we’ve been missing while apart from our favorite restaurants.”
Manufacturers continue to do their part
Times of great adversity often breed some of the most heartwarming stories of human kindness, and that sentiment proves no less true during today’s current challenges. HD has rounded up examples of compassion spreading through the manufacturing world. From producing face masks and recyclable hospitals beds to donating meals and PPE equipment, companies like West Elm, Loll Designs, Tarkett, and Shaw Industries are finding ways to use their facilities and resources to give back during these uncertain times.
Hong Kong enhances sanitizing procedures in airports
Hong Kong International Airport is implementing new measures to avoid the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, according to AFAR. Airport staff members who are responsible for assessing passengers’ health now pass through full-body disinfection devices, or CLeanTech sanitization pods, at the start of each workday. Throughout the travel hub, sterilization robots clean restrooms and high-traffic areas, and an antimicrobial coating is being applied to all high-touch surfaces in the terminal. For the time being, these procedures are being executed and assessed on a trial basis, after which authorities will decide whether to implement more widely and in the longterm.