Monday, May 18, 2020

"Bumper Tables" For Socially-Distant Dining Appear In Maryland

"Bumper Tables" For Socially-Distant Dining Appear In Maryland Tyler Durden Mon, 05/18/2020 - 21:05

Vistors are headed back to Ocean City, Maryland's beach and boardwalk after Gov. Larry Hogan relaxes the stay-at-home order. At one restaurant over the weekend, a post-corona world was recognized with what is being called a socially distant dining experience, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Shaped like a giant donut with an outer perimeter lined with an inner tube, the socially distant tables were custom made for Fish Tales waterfront restaurant. The restaurant posted a Facebook Live video of employees unloading the new tables from a large box truck. 

"It's like a bumper boat, but it's a table," Fish Tales owner Shawn Harmon told Delmarva Daily Times, referring to the design of the table, which was created by a Baltimore-based design firm. 

A customer stands in the center of the table surrounded by a rubber barrier that keeps patrons about six-feet apart. The tables have wheels and allow patrons to move around the restaurant. 

Several months of lockdowns have led to restaurants and bars shuttering operations across Maryland -- except for carryout and delivery service. The state inched into phase one of its Roadmap to Recovery, dining in could become a reality later this year, that is if a second virus wave doesn't materialize

Fish Tales is providing curbside and carryout service at the moment, with preparations to reopen its restaurant and bar when restrictions are lifted. 

This restaurant in Maryland intends to use bumper tables to keep customers six feet apart once it begins to take seated diners.

— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2020

Erin Cermak, the owner of Revolution, the firm responsible for designing and producing the tables, said: "we're an event company, and events have taken a hard hit, so we've been trying to figure out a way that events and things can still happen." 

She said they've gotten an "incredible reaction" so far and are in discussions with other restaurants. 

Hogan made the announcement last week to relax stay-at-home orders and reopen the state. Though reopening the state will not return Maryland nor any other part of the country back to 2019 growth levels. Businesses and households have been finally damaged because of lockdowns. 

Current US reopening timeline 

At least a quarter of restaurants in the US are expected to fail. Many that remain open will have to develop creative technologies with social distancing in mind to attract patrons. 

We noted last week, McDonald's opened a prototype restaurant outfitted with a new social distancing layout. The move is to test new safety measures for guests and employees that will limit the spread of the virus once lockdowns are relaxed. 

The restaurant industry will be severely impacted and might not return to 2019 activity levels for years.