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Updated on May 7, 2020. Posted on Apr 22, 2020

This Twitter Thread About What Reopened Restaurants Look Like In Asia Is Fascinating Because It Could Foreshadow Our Future

I'm all for robot waiters.

Dave Chang, a restaurateur and host of that really good Netflix show Ugly Delicious, asked people living in "Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea, China" to share what restaurants looked like now that they've reopened in those places:

Can diners in Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea, China send me photos of what it looks like in restaurants. How the seating is set up? Are all the servers wearing masks and gloves. What are guests wearing? If anyone works in kitchens how are you dealing w new protocol?

The thread got really good and might offer some perspective on how the US could handle reopening restaurants:

@davidchang I’m in Guangzhou. Temperature checks at the entrance, and you give you name and phone number. 2 friends just had to go into quarantine due to eating at a restaurant where another customer and server tested positive. About 1/2 the chairs/tables. All wear masks

In most restaurants, tables are marked off to follow social distancing rules:

Every other table is used:

@davidchang Lively pizza place in #hongkong during #COVID19. #SocialDistanacing: Only every other table in use. Four people maximum per table. Everyone in masks except when eating. No alcohol sales without food. Bars closed. F&B friends say “thank god” at least they can stay open.

This is what a Starbucks in Hong Kong looks like:

And this is how people waited for their orders in Shenzhen, China:

@davidchang This is hey tea in Shenzhen, it's become a lot more relaxed in the last two weeks - masks are still a must from all the kitchen staff and every server - guests are temperature checked and have to have masks under chin - we no longer have to sit apart 2m apart - before that yes

In some places, like at this chain restaurant in Beijing, the tables are farther apart than before:

@davidchang here is a Beijing local chain restaurant for baozi called Qingfeng, that's what they have done for social distancing

This lunchroom in Taipei, Taiwan, is sectioned off:

@davidchang @chrislhayes The lunch room at ASUS computers in Taipei...

At this restaurant in Hong Kong, they installed guards between booths:

@davidchang yardbird in hong kong - we just designed these retrofitted (hopefully temporary) panels for their booths:

These plastic guards seem to be the norm:

"This was common and effective":

@davidchang Things are mostly back to normal here now but this was common and effective.

Here's what a Starbucks in Taipei looks like:

As @laurachese said, "The acrylic industry in HK is booming":

In other places, they're also taking temperatures at the door:

@davidchang In Taipei, some places check temp at door, some don’t. All restaurants provide hand sanitizer & alc. spray. Servers/staff all wear masks. At Yang Shin (popular dimsum place), still family-style but they spaced out groups, reduced seats by 30% and suspended afternoon service. 1/2

At this McDonald's in Beijing, you have to check in with your name and phone. The temperatures of the workers who prepared your food are marked on the takeout containers:

@davidchang McDonald's in Beijing. Temperature check and name / phone registration inside door. All staff, including at the visible open kitchen, wear masks. Temperature of staff listed on takeout items.

Here's another McDonald's, in Hong Kong, where you get your temperature read before you're allowed in:

@davidchang You have to stand in front of the thermal monitor before getting takeout at McDonald’s. #HongKong #SocialDistancing

In virtually every restaurant, the people preparing your food are wearing masks:

@davidchang In Taipei: temp check at door + disinfectant spray, all staff wear masks, spaced out seating or barriers, customers all have masks but take them off to eat. Definitely strict but at least restaurants are open!

And most obviously, hand sanitizer is everywhere:

At this restaurant in Shanghai, your entire body gets disinfected before you enter:

@davidchang Full body disinfectant spray machine before you enter this restaurant in #Shanghai. Staff in full mask and gloves.

And one last thing because I thought this was cool — here's a restaurant in Beijing that uses a robot to deliver food:

@davidchang here is a footage of robot deliver the food in a restaurant of Beijing