How is social-distance dining going to work? It's hard to wrap your mind around the idea of waiters delivering food while maintaining six feet of distance. As states begin to open back up, we're all wondering how the new normal will look as we meet a friend for a drink or bite to eat. One Amsterdam restaurant, Mediamatic ETEN, is testing a plant-based four-course dining experience where restaurant-goers will be seated in greenhouses, to allow more space,  rather than an enclosed restaurant.

Plant-Based Courses

The project, referred to as Serres Séparées, French for separate greenhouses, has been tried out on the staff's family and friends (on 3 separate dates) since restaurants in the Netherlands are still currently closed. The greenhouses are able to fit a maximum of three people, and in case you need a meal out but are dining alone, you get a discount!

As customers dine out in glass greenhouses overlooking the water, they are met by a waiter (minimum six-feet away) wearing gloves and a transparent face shield. Food is delivered using a long wooden board to maintain distance.

The restaurant assures that service and food quality won't be jeopardized through this altered dining experience. According to Reuters, Willem Velthoven of Mediamatic said: “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.” Mediamatic ETEN is still waiting for the go-ahead by Dutch officials but for now, the greenhouses seem to be a hit, since reservations are booked until the end of June.

If this concept proves to be a success, other restaurants around the world will have a model to follow. Though it's uncertain what dining experiences in the U.S. will be like once states are reopened, mini-greenhouses just may be the future of restaurants. All I know is that if there was a greenhouse that served food and overlooked the Hudson River in New York City, I would already have my reservation booked.

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