It’s a simple three-step formula that Mumbai hotels have embraced. Accept, adapt, accommodate for the ‘new normal’ dining experience. It comes with its set of demands. So what you have is rose gold powder sanitisation stations. Robots serving food. Alfresco seating being celebrated like never before. Private dining areas merging into the main area to create more space for distance seating. Introduction of elevations in the floor area, and acrylic separators. Design thinking has undergone a radical revision to prop up footfalls.
Outdoor gets indoor
While earlier the potted plants, fairy lights and mist fans ruled the courtyard, extended terrace or the alfresco areas of restaurants, now the favoured booking is ‘open to the sky’ section. No one minds the lack of air conditioning and a few desultory mosquitoes anymore.
This has prodded changed lines in table arrangements. Says Twinkle Keswani, Executive Vice-President, Silver Beach Entertainment & Hospitality (The Lazy Goose, Ministry of Salads, Estella, Nom Nom, Silver Beach Cafe), “In keeping with the protocols, we have reduced the number of tables to ensure careful separation and spacing out of seats. At the entrance, we have made space for shoe sanitisers—as a part of our entry décor—to ensure complete safety. Rose gold powder-coated sanitisation stations have been installed here as well to complement the design rhythm at our restaurants to encourage customers to use them. Outdoor spaces now bring in a sense of comfort to the diners.”
The Silver Beach Cafe in Andheri, she adds, has undergone a makeover. Originally, the restaurant had a small indoor area with a glass wall separating it from the outdoor. The same has now been taken down to blend it as one alfresco unit all in all with more and more use of plants to up the fresh greens factor. “The use of plexiglass separators on wheels lets us create a divide between tables; they are a great option because they can be used and moved keeping in mind ease of operations as well as the guest preference of having it or not in the first place. While some of these trends may be temporary, others might be here to stay,” she says.
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard