Designers and restaurateurs are brainstorming design fixes to make restaurants safer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, MASS Design Group, an architecture and design collective that has worked with Partners in Health to create safe, sanitary spaces during infectious disease outbreaks around the world, released Spatial Strategies for Restaurants in Response to COVID-19. This white paper advises several measures such as establishing a clearly defined exchange zone for transition of food, supplies, and people to and from the front of the eatery to the back where the kitchen is located.
It also says that the six-foot social distancing rule isn’t practical inside of most restaurants because it would mean reducing capacity by half or more. Instead, when possible, dining space should be expanded outside into public spaces such as sidewalks, streets, and plazas.
In addition, restaurants should post visible documentation of new protocols including PPE, temperature tests, publicly accessible hand washing stations, ordering and processing, and social distancing to boost public confidence. Highly legible signage that directs and manages the flow of people, including floor and wall markings, would enhance appropriate physical distancing.