Real Foods Group has opened an innovative concept in Kloof Street in Cape Town which reconceptualises what is needed for patrons to eat out stress-free in a time of Covid-19. Picture: Supplied
Real Foods Group has opened an innovative concept in Kloof Street in Cape Town which reconceptualises what is needed for patrons to eat out stress-free in a time of Covid-19. Picture: Supplied

LOOK: Inside a post-Covid-19-designed dining experience

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Nov 8, 2020

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In cities emerging from lockdown, restaurants are rushing to adapt to new health and safety measures.

That said, Real Foods Group has opened an innovative concept in Kloof Street in Cape Town which reconceptualises what is needed for patrons to eat out stress-free in a time of Covid-19.

The group has housed four of its fast-casual dining brands in a post-Covid dining setting: Nü Health Food Café, Schoon Bread Café, and newcomers Free Bird and Kofi.

Kofi and Nü Health Food Café have outdoor ordering hatches so that customers can order coffees or Nü’s healthy juices and smoothies without having to enter the store. There is also a completely separate entrance for UberEats and Mr.D Food delivery drivers, limiting the number of people in the store while ensuring customers have access to their favourite food brands.

The technology includes self-order kiosks as well as a mobile app using QR codes for ordering from any of the four restaurants for take-away or sit down. The mobile app can also be used to order ahead, and all takeaway orders can be picked up in a dedicated contactless area. Those customers who prefer to place their order in person can make use of the counter service, though all counters will have protective perspex screens to protect customers and staff.

In a statement, chief of Real Foods, Dean Kowarski, said Covid-19 had changed casual dining, so they had embraced the new requirements for a safe dining experience at Kloof Street Village and have considered how people want to socialise. Kowarski said although the site was secured before lockdown, they completely redesigned the restaurant during lockdown by conceptualising what it would take for maximum health and safety.

“The store features perspex screens to cordon off certain areas, while still allowing for a social vibe between socially distanced tables. Technology is used to facilitate contactless transactions and there is a large outdoor seating area for fresh-air and summer socialising. Free Bird has been trading as a virtual brand in dark kitchens around Cape Town, Sandton and Pretoria, and its success prompted us to open our first physical retail location. It offers a differentiated, premium, free-range crispy chicken burger and strips concept including hand-cut fries,” he said.

Kowarski concluded that Covid-19 has elevated the importance of wholesome eating to keep communities healthy, and that Covid-19 fits with its mission to ensure that healthy food is easily accessible and convenient.

The venue is at the corner of Kloof and Rheede streets in Cape Town, and is open Monday to Sunday, from 7am until 10pm daily.

Fast food restaurant company Burger King also recently shared its plans for restaurants in Miami, Latin America and the Caribbean when it comes to their new restaurant design plans.

“In March our in-house design and tech team accelerated new restaurant design plans and pushed the limits of what a Burger King restaurant could be,” Josh Kobza, Restaurant Brands International chief operating officer, said in a statement.

These plans were drafted with a mission of dramatically improving (and safeguarding) the consumer experience by providing multiple ordering and delivery modes, many of which are contactless.

These additions and renovations include touchless technology, drive-in and walk-up order areas, an enhanced drive-through experience and exterior dining spaces. At the drive-in area, guests will park their vehicles, place their orders through the Burger King app by scanning a QR code at their parking spot’s kiosk screen, and have food taken directly to their cars.

Patrons arriving to pick up their orders will be able to do so from coded food lockers facing the exterior of the restaurant, and delivery people will be able to pick up their orders through the same system.

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