Restaurants Enlist Plushies To Enforce Social Distancing

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Restaurants around the world are enlisting the help of special recruits to help guests maintain mandatory distance from each other: animal plushies. 

At Jaso Bakery, located in Mexico City’s Polanco district, stuffed teddies take up strategic positions. Instead of placing signs on unavailable tables, the eatery decided to seat giant teddy bears "so the healthy distance was not so ugly,” said Isabel Méndez.

Photo credit: Jaso Bakery via Facebook.

Customers quite enjoy the cuddly company, she adds, and some are as much attracted to the bears as they are the food. Pedestrians pause on their way to take photos, and children often drag their parents inside for a closer look. 

“I came for the bears. I still have the one from my childhood more than 70 years ago,” a client said. Another bakery guest commented that “the bears make the place not look so sad and are useful to respect the distance. An excellent decision.”

Stuffed teddy bears are the sentries of choice for several restaurants across the globe, from Le Choupinet in Paris to Germany's Beef ‘n Beer Hofheim.

“It makes a nice image to see in the street and it is useful at the same time – and, of course, customers love it," Le Choupinet Director, Benjamin Artis told Connexion.

Capybaras make up the security force at Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan. The zoo uses the giant rodents to police the floor in its ‘forest animal’ restaurant, ensuring appropriate social distancing amid COVID-19 regulations.

Photo credit: @Johnny_suputama via Twitter.

At Maison Saigon in Bangkok, Thailand, it's pandas that keep a watchful eye over guests during their meal.

Whatever the species, it sure takes out some of the "stuffiness" out of safety protocols.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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