Protective domes to help French restaurants reopen?

French designer’s Plexiglas domes to protect diners were on display in one Paris restaurant this week.

28 May 2020
A woman sits under a protective, transparent dome at a dining tabel. Plex'eat is a design by Christophe Gergnigon to protect diners as they return to restaurants in FrancePlex'eat is a design by Christophe Gergnigon to protect diners as they return to restaurants in France
By Joanna York

Designer Christopher Gernigon yesterday (May 27) presented a new, sanitary solution to dining that might give a glimpse of how restaurants can adapt to Covid-19 sanitation measures as they prepare to reopen in France.  

On display in Parisian restaurant H.A.N.D., the designs resemble a transparent dome, with an opening in the back, that hangs over individual diners, encasing them in their own protective sphere.  

Designer Christopher Gernigon explained: “It’s like a lampshade that hangs from the ceiling, except the back is open, it’s transparent and you put it over clients heads."

The domes, named Plex’eat, are suspended from the ceiling. According to the designer, they are easy to clean, simple to install and provide a practical way for restaurants to provide protection in response to the Covid-19 crisis. When inside it’s still possible to hear and hold conversations with fellow diners, also inside their own individual domes. 

Designer Gernigon claims his creation may even improve the gastronomical experience. When inside the dome, he says: “The smell of the food rises straight up into the nose. You enter into an experience!”

Read more: Restaurants could do worse than copy McDo template

Read more: French restaurateur wins Covid payment from insurer

Paris restaurant convinced

Manager of H.A.N.D., Matthieu Manzoni, is convinced. He said: “I’ve found a solution that suits me.” 

“Of all the possible alternatives, this is the only one that speaks to me, that looks like something I could envisage using.”

Even at a cost of €160 euros per dome, he believes that the Plex’eats could mean he “loses almost no covers".

Meanwhile, he estimates that current restrictions on restaurants in Paris, which is one of France’s Covid-19 red zones, mean H.A.N.D. is losing more than 50% of its clients each week. 

Orders for Plex’eat have already been placed in China and Japan, and the designer is currently working on a second design that would permit two diners to eat inside the same dome. 

When will restaurants in France reopen?

France will enter its second stage of deconfinement on June 2. An announcement from the government on whether restaurants, cafés and bars in France’s green zones can reopen to clients is expected today (May 28) or tomorrow (May 29). 

Related articles:

Possible June reopening for France's cafés

Deconfinement in France: PM to outline second phase

Deconfinement in France: What is reopening when?

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