'Insanity': Restaurant's 'bubble dining' COVID idea backfires

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

For most of us the word ‘unprecedented’ has been used and seen more this year than in the rest of our lives combined, and with ‘unprecedented’ territory comes innovative and not so innovative reactions.

In a developing global situation, some ideas are bound to hit and others to miss, and one New York restaurant’s strategy to circumvent the virus very much did the latter this week.

Image of diners New York restaurant in bubble tent COVID measure backfired
A New York restaurants 'covid-safe' dining idea backfired spectacularly this week. Photo: Tiktok/ maximusupinnyc

The Manhattan eatery decided to introduce outdoor ‘bubbles’ where patrons would be separated into their groups and housed in a transparent tent where they could eat drink and be merry to their hearts’ content.

The concept of ‘bubble’ or ‘igloo’ dining is hardly a new one, but what is novel is the idea that it could be an effective way to reintroduce in-restaurant dining in COVID-affected areas.


A novel idea and also, a terrible one.

Thousands of commentators were quick to point out several gaping holes in its COVID-effectiveness online, after a TikTok of the concept went viral – no pun intended.

Bubbles of diners New York COVID-safe restaurant measure fail
Though the 'bubbles' separate diners from other groups, others wondered about those within the groups and the waiters. Photo: TikTok/maximusupinnyc

Many couldn’t help but point out that rather than keeping diners safe from the transmission, the bubbles would trap air and serve as more of an incubator than a safety measure.

Not to mention, waiters moving between bubbles would be copping the trapped exhalations of their patrons with no opportunity for the germs to dissipate.

Twitter explodes over ‘idiotic’ COVID fail

Shared to Twitter the video quickly racked up thousands of comments, almost all wondering how on earth the idea had been allowed to go forward.

“Dude I feel so bad for the waitstaff who have to keep going into a literal dome of the collective breaths of people who think it’s important to eat out in a pandemic,” one person wrote in response to the video on Twitter. “You know those customers are the exact people talking stupid chances.”

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

“Sooo basically virus incubators,” another pointed out. “Cool.”

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

Others argued properly disinfecting the bubbles between groups would be extremely complicated.

“So, how do they make sure the "bubbles" are ventilated and cleaned between uses?” one person tweeted. “If not, the air being breathed carries the droplets of the previous diners. And how does it work in winter time? Seems more risky than just better ventilation inside.”

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

Many agreed the bubbles seemed to be far less safe than simply dining indoors.

“I thought the whole point was that it’s safer being outdoors than inside?” one wondered.

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

Most agreed they wouldn’t touch the bubble dining with a ten-foot pole if they were paid a fortune to do so.

“Under no circumstances would I enter one of those unsanitary health hazards that other people have been coughing and sneezing in for hours,” a passionate individual wrote. “That's disgusting.”

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

“The concept is just so idiotic,’ another agreed.

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

Needless to say a couple of waiters might be grateful to Twitter for calling out a hazardous workplace this week.

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