FEATURE: How commercial spaces can adapt to social distancing measures

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    FEATURE: How commercial spaces can adapt to social distancing measures

    Now that the industry is reopening its doors, many wonder ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ to implement social distancing barriers in order to keep guests safe while also keeping the consumer journey smooth. KAI Interiors shares its views…

    KAI Interiors is an award-winning interior design studio that has been at the forefront of designing bars, restaurants and hotels for the past 10 years.

    Over the last couple of weeks, we have been asked to advise many of our existing clients on how to adapt their spaces to re-open in the coming months. Now the government guidelines have been released, there are some big changes happening in the food and beverage industry. The guidelines include a new reduction in social distancing to one metre with the proviso that other measures, such as screens, are in place to protect both guests and staff. Here at KAI we have been developing social distancing screens for the past couple of months in the belief that this would be the government’s likely recommendation! However, we wanted to differentiate our protection screens from others on the market by being design led. We believe that as people start venturing out, many social distancing measures may feel clinical and sterile, and customers may not feel as comfortable in their favourite locations. So we wanted to focus on developing screens that will complement and enhance hospitality environments.

    Our screens can be used in different areas of your restaurant, cafe, hotel, bar, pub or office. We have three different styles for you to choose from: one which screws to the underside of your counter or table-top for extra stability, a freestanding countertop or table-top version, and a floor-standing screen. With sustainability in mind, we have used rubberwood to produce the framework for all our screens. It seems likely that social distancing screens may need to be in place for quite some time, so we wanted to design them to be long lasting, our timber-framed screens are made for strength and to withstand the heavy-duty use of any hospitality environment. A 4mm insert can be slid inside, which means you can supply your own insert if you prefer to have something branded, or you can use one of our 4mm perspex inserts or our ribbed effect polycarbonate inserts. Both give a more premium feel to your screening than many on the market at present. The floor-standing screen is great for space-saving as its base frame can fold back on itself, so if you do need to store it away you can do so easily.

    Furthermore, following the need for social distancing, these screens can be easily adapted to become signage holders, so you could insert a blackboard or printed graphic to suit your requirements. You can find more details on the range of screens, sizes, finishes, and availability on our shop. If you need screening made to a bespoke colour to suit your interior, or a different size, we can also achieve this for you so just get in touch. Orders over 10 screens will be subject to a discount

    In addition, with every order of social distancing screens we will include a 40 page guide which we have developed to combine our knowledge of hospitality design with the government’s current guidelines, so throughout the booklet there is advice on what to be aware of, checklists and KAI’s tips. The wealth of information out there can be overwhelming and time consuming to assimilate. Hotel, restaurant and bar owners have enough to think about during this hectic time, so we are here to help them make small changes which can promote social distancing, while helping these measures remain compatible with their chosen interior. We’ve compiled essential operational and design advice in relation to the atmosphere and practicalities of the space. Additionally, we have compiled a list of over one hundred specific product suggestions, with links, covering many elements such as entry, table top, ordering, service, payment and toilets.

    KAI Interiors is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

    Main image credit: Matt Hunter/NueGround

    Hamish Kilburn / 17.07.2020


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