Sweden’s coronavirus response plan urges people to socially distance but does not enforce a strict lockdown. The country hopes that this method will help it attain “herd immunity,” which is the point at which so many people in one area are immune to a virus that it cannot spread effectively.
While bars, restaurants, and cafés in Sweden continue to serve seated customers, most of them have roped off every other seat or table in order to enforce social distance.
One restaurant, however, is taking the concept of social distancing to a whole other level: It will only serve one customer per day, seated in the middle of a field, via a basket attached to a rope.
The restaurant, aptly named Bord för En, or Table for One, is expected to open on May 10, and stay open until August 1.
Couple Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson came up with the idea after having lunch with Karlsson’s parents.
When visiting Karlsson’s parents, Persson and Karlsson insisted on following social distancing recommendations in order to keep them safe. Persson, a former chef, made lunch and served it to his in-laws through a window to a nicely set table outside.
“We should make this available for everyone,” Karlsson said they thought afterward. “It will be the only COVID-19-safe restaurant in the world.”
The couple made the website for Bord för En the very same night.
The concept is simple: A single table, a single chair, out in the middle of a field in Värmland, Sweden. Instead of waitstaff, the food will be delivered straight from the kitchen by basket attached to a rope.
“We want to be able to concentrate on that sole guest when preparing the meal. But also, it is a way for us to be able to control that the guest’s experience will be totally COVID-19-free,” Karlsson said. She adds that the restaurant will also clean dishes twice, and sanitize the table.
According to Karlsson, each meal will feature three courses created by Persson, with drinks by Joel Söderbäck, known for his many high-end bars in Sweden, including Tjoget, which made it onto the list of “World’s 50 Best Bars.”
Karlsson said food and drink will be seasonal and locally farmed, depending on what’s available. A sample menu includes Råraka, a Swedish-style hash brown with seaweed caviar and wood-plucked sorrel, and Black & Yellow, yellow carrot-ginger purée with browned hazelnut butter and sweet corn croquettes.
“We are all are facing difficult times and there are people that have lost their jobs, loved ones, or even their mind. We welcome all, no matter what financial situation you are in,” Karlsson said.
Persson and Karlsson hope that their restaurant will give people a welcome respite and a pleasant distraction, while still allowing them to focus on themselves, rather than stare at a phone or TV screen.
“We want to encourage people to sit down and spend quality time with themselves,” Karlsson said.