Wagamama to reopen with sliding screens to help create a safe communal vibe

By Georgia Cronin

- Last updated on GMT

Wagamama noodle chain restauranat reopen sliding screens social dictancing communal lockdown

Related tags Wagamama Japanese cuisine Casual dining Restaurant lockdown

Wagamama will reopen four of its restaurants in the coming days to trial its new sliding screen safety feature.

The casual dining brand, which is known for its communal dining format, has designed Japanese partition-inspired sliding screens, which will sit on rollers and can be moved up and down the full length of its benches to separate different parties to allow it to open safely while retaining the feel of its dining rooms.

Other safety measures including distanced queuing, disposable menus and mobile payments, which will also adhere to the government’s track and trace request.

The first restaurant to open will be at the Royal Festival Hall on 4 July, followed by the Trafford Centre, Stevenage and Swindon on 6 July.

If the initial test and learn phase proves successful, the business plans to open 18 restaurants by the end of the month, and have all sites open in its estate by early September.

“The main question we have been working on as a team is how can our guests feel safe but still have a communal Wagamama experience, sitting on our benches,” says CEO Emma Woods.

“The team have applied our philosophy of kaizen - good change - to this challenge and I am delighted we have found a design solution which provides social distancing for our guests in a way which is true to the design ethos of the brand.”

“We are looking forward to getting our guests back in and obtaining their feedback in the first 18 sites. If these tests go well, we will reopen the remainder of our restaurants throughout August and September.”

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