Get acquainted with your new dining companions
The good and bad news is that dining in is (vaguely) business as usual. You go out with the fam or friends (often in the same car), scan a QR code to check-in on Thai Chana and then be seated at separate tables to enjoy food outside your home. Sounds complicated and contrary to the concept of family-time meals but that's the hidden price you pay in this Covid-19 world. If lucky, your new dining companion may be some kind of doll (not those ones). Whether they are good company or not, these dining companions are likely to be at restaurant tables for a while. Here are three that I've spotted. g
Panda is Your Pal(demic)
Maison Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bangkok, brightens up your solo eating experience with an army of panda plushies who sit across the table from you. This is a good idea for those who can't "bear" the idea of eating bánh mì alone and I'm "pho" this idea (several puns very intended). Based on my trained eye, I highly suspect these pandas are Swedish (if you know what I mean). If you're worried about their cleanliness because people will use them as photo props or hug the s*** out of them, the restaurant says they spray the pandas with disinfectant after each customer finishes their meal. In the morning, these pandas get to sunbath before commencing their cute duty for the day, too.
Dining with Korean Stars
If you're cray-cray for Korea idols, check out Monster Yum. They spice up your new normal dining with cut-outs of Korean stars so you can make eye contact with them through the clear partition while enjoying your spicy salad. Fulfill your som-tum-date-with-Jaehyun fantasy here, if you're a stan. Meet the cut-out stars at their branches in Saphan Kwai and Robinson Lat Krabang.
Dining with Cardboard Dragons
Bar B Q Plaza went super-viral when they place cardboard dolls in the shape of their dragon mascot as their new table accessories. Upon the first glance, you would think that these poor dragons are amputated but those holes where their arms should be actually are for yours. Yes, you can wear them as a costume. You can even buy them to assemble at home as a family activity. To max the gimmick, I suggest replacing the X mark on the table in front of it with a fireball to go with the dragon theme.
Elephant plushies for traditional Thai restaurants because it’s such an obvious choice. Hanuman dolls are appropriate, too.
The choice of Mario for Italian restaurants may be controversial since Mario is a mascot of the Japanese game company, Nintendo. But that will get people talking about the place. Just think of free publicity that this would generate. Any press is good press.
If you can somehow convince San-X, Rilakkuma is a nice cuddly addition to any laid-back cafes.
By the time you're reading this, more dining companions may have already been introduced but if I owned a few restaurants, these would be my offered entertainment.
P.S. Restaurateurs are welcome to put my ideas into action. Just credit me. In cash.
Guru section Editor
Guru section Editor
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