Table For One? A Restaurant In Sweden Is Serving One Diner At A Time
Social distancing is a topic many people have never heard of until the coronavirus pandemic. But now it’s come to the forefront of many people’s minds, as the pandemic has impacted the entire world. Airlines have come under fire when they failed to meet passenger expectations for social distancing. Delta even announced recently that it will limit its sales to 60% to promote social distancing. Now, a pop-up restaurant in Sweden is promoting social distance dining. The restaurant will serve one guest every day, and the diner will decide the price of the meal.
Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson are the couple who created the idea, naming the restaurant Bord For En (table for one). The couple dubs their restaurant “one of the only true COVID-19 safe restaurants in the world.” It’s located just over 200 miles from Stockholm in Värmland. The restaurant is set to open May 10 and will remain open until August.
As restaurants begin to open around the world with limited seating capacity, this seems like the ultimate “safe” dining option. The couple is not encouraging people to travel to Sweden to partake in this restaurant. After all, travel around the world is still limited for many people. But the couple does encourage those who have to travel to dine out, since many of the restaurants in their town are takeout only. The restaurant’s website says, “Of course, you should really be careful traveling in these times. But if you are on the road or have an urgent cause in the region of Wermland. You do need to eat.”‘
The Reasoning Behind It
Both Karlsson and Persson have experience in the food industry, one in the back of the house and the other in the front. The presentation of the meal is pretty wonderful, as you’ll see below. It definitely shows an extraordinary culinary talent for creation. Obviously, I am incapable of judging taste!
I spoke to Karlsson earlier today about their reasoning for opening the restaurant. She said that the restaurant is a response to COVID-19, generally speaking. But she also noted that there are also a lot of solo diners out there. Karlsson told me, “Sweden is the country with the most single households.” Karlsson continued that it is “still not socially acceptable to just have dinner with yourself. Now is the time to do so, to protect others.”
Persson and Karlsson told CNN they got the idea when Karlsson’s at-risk parents visited them. Although Sweden has recommendations instead of restrictions for social distancing, both decided to keep their parents safe, they would set up a table for them in the garden.
The couple says there will not be exceptions for couples who want to dine together because they’ve been isolating together. Instead, the couple believes this is an opportunity to enjoy dining by yourself. As Karlsson notes, “You are worth spending time with.”
The three-course menu is inspired by Persson’s travel and own memories. Non-alcoholic drinks are included are curated by Joel Söderbäck and inspired by locally farmed ingredients. The ingredients for those drinks include elderberry, seedlip, and strawberries. The food and drinks will be delivered to the diner in a basket on tied to a rope that comes from the kitchen.
First Course: Swedish style hash brown, smetana, seaweed caviar, wood plucked sorrel.
Second Course: Yellow carrot-ginger puree, browned hazelnut butter, sweet corn croquettes, serpent root ash
Third Course: Ginned blueberries, iced buttermilk, viola sugar from our own beets
Of course, the first question somebody might have is “What does a meal like this cost?” Persson and Karlsson don’t list a price. Instead, it’s up to the individual diner to decide how much they want to pay for the meal.
Of course, for such an exclusive experience with what appears to be wonderful food, I would hope those that can afford it will pay a good sum of money for the experience. But it’s wonderful that those who otherwise couldn’t experience such an exclusive experience have the option to diner there and pay what they can. The couple says their restaurant is open to all, and that makes this experience even more wonderful.
Outside of stay-at-home order, social distancing is likely hear to stay for some time. A recent study suggests that social distancing may be around for as long as two years. At a minimum, the White House Coronavirus Task Force has said to expect social distancing policies through at least the summer.
This restaurant in Sweden is a pretty amazing concept, and it was great to speak with Linda about the experience. The couple seems to have a real passion for what they are doing here, and I think that is just awesome. Of course, this will not be a sustainable business model for most places around the world, but this creates an interesting experience. But it also teaches us about dining alone. It can be an invigorating experience and a time to really enjoy your own company. And maybe that’s something we should all strive to be happy with every once and awhile.