Artwork by: Jester Burgos

Vietnamese restaurant places stuffed panda bears at tables to keep diners company

May 18th, 2020

Ever since we were placed in quarantine, most of us have surely been counting down the days until this pandemic ends, if not, subside. That’s why when some fancy restaurants or fast-food chains started reopening last week, some people took this rare chance to get their comfort food fix.

However, they can’t just gather around the table just like the good old, pre-COVID days. As a way of maintaining social distancing, some diners placed one chair at each table or life-sized mannequins to fill empty chairs. (Uhm, I don’t know what to feel about this, though.)

Y I K E S / Giphy

In Bangkok, Thailand, this Vietnamese restaurant came up with a brilliant idea on how they can encourage people to follow strict social distancing rules while dining. Since eating alone can feel very isolating, the restaurant’s owner decided to place panda bears at each table to keep customers company.

Natthwut Rodchanapanthkul (the owner of Maison Saigon) told Reuters, “Earlier we had only one chair for the tables where the customer came alone. But for me, it felt strange, so I thought I’d give them some company.”

Apparently, the idea was well-received by online users. One Instagram follower said that “If I’d went there it’s where I’d eat!! (I’m in the UK) good luck with that I hope people don’t take the bears on the eat out! And there chained somehow,” while another person expressed how excited she is to sit with them.

Although the experience is not the same as dining with a real person, these stuffed animals can still make it less lonely, right?

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