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Restaurant Owner Introduces ‘Cardboard Customers’ To Make Social Distancing A Bit More Fun In Australia

by : Julia Banim on : 18 May 2020 17:34
Restaurant Owner Introduces 'Cardboard Customers' To Make Social Distancing A Bit More FunRestaurant Owner Introduces 'Cardboard Customers' To Make Social Distancing A Bit More FunFive Dock Dining/Facebook

A restaurant owner from Australia has found an innovative way to make things feel a bit more normal as restaurants, cafes and pubs across New South Wales begin to reopen their doors.

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With social distancing measures easing a little, businesses can now seat a maximum of 10 customers at a time. For those used to lively eating establishments filled with gossip and laughter, the quiet and emptiness will no doubt feel a little strange at first.

In a bid to bring a more bustling vibe to his restaurant, Five Dock Dining owner Frank Angeletta, from Sydney, has seated cardboard customers in chairs that would have otherwise remained empty.

It’s all about having a laugh and making the most of our situation ..#cardboardcustomers

Posted by Five Dock Dining on Friday, May 15, 2020

Taking to Facebook to explain the light-hearted measure, the restaurant wrote:

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In light of everything happening, like all other small businesses we are still trying to serve our customers as best we can.

We are so grateful for the recognition we’ve received over the past week. Although most of our patrons right now are 2D we are so thankful to those who have dined in and are planning to do so.

We’re committed to keeping our customers safe and look forward to seeing you soon! Whilst we operate under these conditions our dine in menu is also available for take away.

In light of everything happening, like all other small businesses we are still trying to serve our customers as best we…

Posted by Five Dock Dining on Monday, May 18, 2020

It seems to have worked too, as Five Dock Dining is already booked out to full capacity with non-cardboard customers after having shut its doors for a few weeks, 7News reports.

Frank has even tried to create a little ambience at his establishment, playing the comforting sounds of clattering cutlery and easy chatter to create the illusion of a pre-pandemic dining experience.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Food, Australia, Cardboard Customers, Five Dock Dining, New South Wales, Restaurant Owner

Credits

7News and 1 other
  1. 7News

    Digital Staff Sunrise Friday, 15 May 2020 12:48 am One Sydney restaurant has come up with a creative way to create a crowd atmosphere under coronavirus restrictions. One Sydney restaurant has come up with a creative way to create a crowd atmosphere under coronavirus restrictions. Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images Restaurants, cafes and pubs in New South Wales can now reopen to seat a maximum of 10 patrons at a time. And because sitting in a venue with barely anyone else may seem strange, one Sydney restaurant has come up with a unique way to make customers feel more comfortable. Watch the video above Five Dock Dining owner Frank Angeletta has placed cardboard customers in empty seats around the venue. He’s also prepared ambient background noise, including chatter and the sounds of clinking cutlery, to play in the background. The cutouts were added in hopes of creating a more comfortable dining experience The cutouts were added in hopes of creating a more comfortable dining experience Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images “We really wanted to add some atmosphere and give diners that realistic dining experience,” he told Sunrise. “The cut outs and background noise are a bit eerie when you first walk in - but once you’re sitting down it’s a bit of fun.” After being completely closed for weeks, the restaurant is already booked out to its legal limit. The fixed menu for this weekend's first service at the Five Dock Dining restaurant The fixed menu for this weekend's first service at the Five Dock Dining restaurant Credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images It will reopen with skeleton staff, two dedicated dining times and a set menu on Friday night. “We’re looking forward to at least having something, 10 is a good start, so it’s a good step in the right direction,” Angeletta explained. “On a normal, busy night we’d have eight or nine staff members on, but tonight we’ll have three.” “We’ve got a 5.30 - 7.30 session, then we’ll give the tables a sanitise and will welcome more customers from 7.40 until close.” Want more from Sunrise? Tap here! On The Show

  2. Five Dock Dining/Facebook

    @fivedockdining