- Lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease around the world, which means cafés, bars, and restaurants are looking for ways to reopen safely.
- From mannequins at empty tables to miniature greenhouses, restaurants have taken creative approaches to social distancing.
- Here are restaurants around the world that have successfully found ways to serve guests while social distancing.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
The way we eat, where we eat, and what we eat all might change as a result of the coronavirus.
Countries around the world are beginning to lift lockdown restrictions, and people are searching for missed experiences.
One commonly missed experience is dining at a restaurant. Restaurant owners, chefs, and hosts are all searching for ways to re-create the dining experience in a safe way.
Whether that's requiring temperature checks or adding glass blockages, restaurants around the world have gotten creative when it comes to abiding by social-distancing measures.
Whether you call them "shield pods" or "plastic lampshades," restaurants are considering this contraption built by a French designer.
Currently, the plastic lampshades are being used at H.A.N.D., a restaurant in Paris, France.
However, the designer has received more than 200 requests from restaurants in five countries.
A restaurant in Thailand added cartoon dragons to its tables to indicate where customers can sit.
A restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, decided to sit cartoon dragons at its tables.
In an effort to maintain social distancing, customers sit on one side of the table — the side without the bright green dragon.
These greenhouses in Amsterdam offer an intimate view of the water.
Five little greenhouses were added outside Mediamatic Eten in Amsterdam.
Called "serres séparées," or separated greenhouses, the cubicles allow for social distancing in a beautiful setting.
In addition to the greenhouses, the waiters wear face shields and serve food on a wooden board to prevent any direct contact between diners and staff.
Potential guests loved the idea and reservations filled up quickly.
At a restaurant in Virginia, 1940s-themed mannequins were placed at empty tables.
Patrick O'Connell, the chef at the restaurant, worked with a local theater company to design and acquire the mannequins.
When the restaurant reopens, which will likely be at the end of May, waiters and waitresses will serve both the real and fake guests.
A restaurant in Sweden serves just one diner a day.
Bord för En, or Table for One, serves a single person every day.
The diner sits in the middle of a field, and his or her food is delivered in a basket on a rope pulley system.
Sweden didn't go into lockdown, however, it's still following many social-distancing guidelines.
"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," Linda Karlsson, the owner, told Insider.
A restaurant in Australia wanted guests to feel comfortable, so the owner added cardboard cutouts of people to the empty tables.
In addition to the cutouts, guest "chatter" will also play on the speakers at Five Dock Dining so that visitors don't feel like they're eating in an empty restaurant.
In Sydney, Australia, the state government allowed restaurants, hotel dining areas, and cafes to reopen with a maximum of 10 guests.
Angeletta didn't want his guests to feel like they were eating in an empty dining room, so he added the cutouts.
People responded well, and reservations quickly filled for opening night.
A Vietnamese restaurant in Thailand sat stuffed pandas next to diners.
The restaurant had originally just placed one chair at each table, but when that felt empty and isolating, the owner added stuffed panda bears.
The panda bears are a fun way to indicate where diners can and can't sit at Maison Saigon.
One patron said he enjoyed the unique company as he dined out for the first time in months. "The doll makes me feel less lonely eating by myself," Sawit Chaiphuek told Reuters.
Barriers intersect tables at restaurants in Japan.
The primary goal of this barrier is to block any droplets coming from diners in Akita, Japan.
Friends can still sit together, but in what's believed to be a safer dining experience.
It looks like mannequins and dolls might be a new normal. This restaurant in Germany added dolls to its empty tables.
At the Hotel Haase in Hannover, Germany, dolls fill the empty tables.
The hotel didn't want its restaurant to look empty, so it added life-size dolls to each table.
Money, coffee, and food are exchanged with the help of this handmade chute in Kiel, Germany.
A café in Kiel, Germany, built a chute for food and money.
The barista can make the coffee, set it in the tray, and lower it down to the customer.
The chute was built as an easy way to prevent customers and staff from directly interacting with each other.
In Maryland, "bumper tables" were designed to create a fun bar experience.
The table, designed for social distancing, is on wheels and features a giant inner tube. Working like bumper cars, the customers will remain six feet apart whenever two tubes hit.
Revolution Event Design & Production designed the tables in response to the need for social distancing.
"The whole idea is just to make people smile and give hope and do something fun," Donna Harman, the restaurant's owner, told Insider.
Hotpots are enjoyed in Thailand with the help of plastic barriers.
The Penguin Eat Shabu hotpot restaurant added plastic barriers to its tables.
Thailand eased some of its lockdown restrictions at the beginning of May, but strict guidelines are in place at restaurants and cafés.
To meet these guidelines, the Penguin Eat Shabu built plastic barricades for every table in its dining room.