Restaurateur Jeremy King co-owner of London restaurants including The Wolseley, The Delaunay, and Brasserie Zedel, which all currently closed due to the Covid-19 crisis has said that social distancing in a restaurant will be “impossible and implausible”, and that conviviality and community are essential.
He said: “Chris [Corbin, co-founder] and I always had as our guiding light the premise that we opened restaurants we would like to go to.
“I am afraid I certainly have no interest in going to a place where I am sitting in isolation, surrounded by Perspex screens and served by someone in a mask and gloves – where’s the fun in that?
“Restaurants are generally social hubs which depend on the conviviality of community and we need to understand this.”
King did however point to some positivity in recent polls, which found that a majority of people would be disinclined to visit or uncomfortable visiting restaurants once they reopened. “Many say that people will be scared to go to restaurants but from everything I hear that is not the case for all,” he said. “Indeed, whilst the YouGov poll last week said that 57 percent of those asked would be apprehensive about going to a restaurant, what I took from that is 43 percent would be happy to — and that can only grow over the next month or two until we get to the point we can contemplate reopening.”