Redefining pandemic dining with private ‘greenhouses’

A number of Vero Beach restaurants have reopened with altered dine-in operations aimed at providing what some are calling “the new safe hospitality.” Then there’s Amsterdam, where one restaurant is thinking outside the box by putting patrons into boxes. Or rather, “greenhouses.”

Serres Séparées, French for “separate greenhouses,” is a project from the ETEN restaurant at Amsterdam’s Mediamatic arts center that hosts diners in individual glass enclosures.

“At Mediamatic we’re designing and testing new safe hospitality,” the art center wrote on its website. “Later this year we will serve our visitors amazing plant-based dinners in their own little greenhouse.”

On April 27 and May 5, Serres Séparées ran soft openings, welcoming test diners into its five greenhouses set up along the Oosterdok marina.

Serres Séparées staff wore plastic shields over their faces and black gloves as they served restaurant guests their plant-based meals on long wooden planks.

“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’s Willem Velthoven told a reporter.

It’s unlikely that any Vero restaurants will adopt Mediamatic’s unique approach to post-pandemic dining, but they’re not alone in the effort to reshape the future of the hospitality industry.

A version of this story appeared first in the Washington Post.

Written by: Natalie B. Compton

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