• With coronavirus lockdowns starting to lift across the world, restaurants are reopening.
  • Social distancing measures and protection for staff mean it all looks very different.

Will eating out ever be the same again after COVID-19? As lockdowns start to ease around the world, restaurants are reopening – but with a very different look and feel to before the coronavirus pandemic.

Restaurateurs and café owners are among those who have borne the economic brunt of stay-at-home policies. Many are desperate to reopen to save their businesses from bankruptcy, but rules on social distancing mean they are having to rethink how they serve their customers - from tables fitted with screens to staff wearing visors and facemasks to individual dining pods.

Here's how restaurants around the world are responding.

Diners at restaurant COVID-19
Safer ways to dine during COVID-19
Image: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Together but apart: Diners eat lunch at a reopened noodle restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, separated by a screen.

Greenhouse eating Amsterdam
A couple enjoys a meal safely inside a restaurants outside eating area.
Image: REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Eating pods: People trialling ‘quarantine greenhouses’ at a waterside restaurant in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Coffee mask in Serbia
A barista safely makes coffee in Serbia.
Image: REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Coffee culture: A barista in facemask, visor and gloves prepares a cappuccino at a café in Belgrade, Serbia.

Restaurant serves giant beer in Viet Nam
'Just one beer please.'
Image: REUTERS/Kham

Making up for lost time: Customers celebrating the easing of lockdown restrictions at a restaurant in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington DC.
Safe preperation.
Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Still going: Staff prepare online orders at Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington DC, US. The restaurant has remained open for 62 years and has served two former Presidents: Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

A street café outside the presidential office in Kiev, Ukraine.
'A table for 2 metres apart please'
Image: REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Pavement protest: Restaurateurs set up a street café outside the presidential office in Kiev, Ukraine, to demand easing of lockdown restrictions for their businesses.

A traditional hotpot restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.
Screens and floor markets protect citizens at a restaurant in Thailand.
Image: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Divided dinner: Screens and floor markings separate diners at a traditional hotpot restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.

An experimental 'virus proof' McDonalds in the Netherlands.
An experimental 'virus proof' McDonalds in the Netherlands.
Image: REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Keep your distance: A customer follows markers at an experimental ‘virus-proof’ McDonald’s restaurant in Arnhem, Netherlands.

High steaks: Alongside their food, diners at the Brooklyn Chop House in New York City's Financial District will be served temperature checks, table dividers and plates and glasses wrapped in plastic.