Burger King's giant crowns, KFC's Colonel Sanders cut-outs: Social distancing gets creative

9-year-old Valerie Chew wears the Social Distancing crown, on June 24 2020.
9-year-old Valerie Chew wears the Social Distancing crown, on June 24 2020.ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

SINGAPORE - Some food and beverage establishments have come up with fun ways to enforce safe distancing guidelines.

Diners at fast-food chain Burger King are required to keep "approximately 20 onion rings away" from the next person, according to the advice printed on its plastic table separators.

Or you can dine like a social distancing king by donning a giant crown. With a circumference of 3.14m, it ensures you are a metre away from your dining companions.

The headgear is available - while stocks last - at 45 of the 50 outlets. You can also download and make your own from Burger King's website.

Wear the crown at any of the 45 restaurants and get a one-for-one Whopper deal. The promotion runs till July 4.

This is part of a series of creative initiatives to ensure diner safety, says the chain's marketing director Irene Tay.

Over at eight KFC outlets, the fried chicken brand's iconic founder Colonel Sanders is helping to maintain social distancing.

Until July 6, his 2D cut-outs will sit among diners at outlets including those at Jem, Novena Square, Waterway Point and Compass One.

These restaurants typically see larger dine-in crowds during peak dining hours, explains KFC Singapore's general manager Lynette Lee, adding that the chain will review if Colonel Sanders' "role" should be extended beyond July 6.


 KFC has Colonel Sanders cut-outs at eight of their outlets to ensure safe distancing. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

At other F&B outlets, the use of table shields has been picking up.

Koufu food court at Thomson Plaza put them up recently to separate diners seated at the same table.

Movable 5mm-thick clear acrylic dividers also separate groups of diners at the one-Michelin-starred Shinji by Kanesaka restaurants at Carlton Hotel Singapore and The St Regis Singapore and their sister Japanese restaurant Oshino at Raffles Hotel.

The dividers are also placed between chefs and diners seated at the sushi counters. Chefs serve sushi directly to diners via a hole at the base of the dividers.

Mrs Joni Ong, the restaurants' managing director, says: "Such measures protect our staff as well."


Movable 5mm-thick clear acrylic dividers are installed at Shinji by Kanesaka. PHOTO: SHINJI BY KANESAKA

In the lead-up to reopening, she adds, they had even considered emulating popular Japanese ramen chain Ichiran by having diners eat in individual booths with wooden dividers. Ichiran does not have an outlet here.

They eventually canned the idea, she says, as they feel that diners and chefs would prefer to see one another in person.

Other safety measures at the restaurants include stopping the practice of providing diners with hot towels and small finger towels to use after they eat sushi by hand. Instead, they are given a packet of wet wipes each.