Panda dolls help kick pandemic blues for diners


  • Thailand
  • Friday, 15 May 2020

Bearing with the panda-monium: Customers sitting next to plush panda dolls used as space keepers for social distancing at Maison Saigon in Bangkok. — AP

Can’t bear to eat alone?

One restaurant in Thailand is ensuring that it meets new social distancing guidelines and providing lonely diners a bit of company by seating stuffed pandas at its tables.

Thailand earlier this month relaxed some restrictions on businesses as the number of coronavirus cases slowed, allowing restaurants to reopen but with strict rules in place to stem the virus spread.

“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, ” said Natthwut Rodchanapanthkul, the owner of Maison Saigon, a Vietnamese eatery in Bangkok.Customer Siriporn Assavakarint said the new seating rules often bamboozled diners, but the army of plush pandas made things much clearer.

“It’s a lot easier to understand compared to other restaurants, where people always get confused about where to sit and end up sitting too close to each other, ” Siriporn said. — Reuters

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