Wagamama restaurant to open in Crawley
A new Wagamama restaurant is due to open in Crawley next month.
The branch is set to open on Sunday, October 18 in Crawley Leisure Park, although a spokesman for the company was unable to confirm which building would be renovated.
Wagamama has branches across the UK, serving Japanese-inspired food to eat in or take away.
The chain, like other businesses during the pandemic, has gone to great lengths to make its restaurants Covid-19-safe by introducing strict hygiene policies and social distancing measures.
A spokesman for the chain said 'ingenious sliding screens' along the length of wagamama's signature long benches were key to keeping diners safe.
Sitting on rollers, the screens can be moved up and down the benches to separate parties of guests from each other.
Branches have also introduced socially distanced queuing, disposable menus and cashless paying to minimise contact. Track and trace systems are also in force, with at least one member of each group required to give their contact details.
Chief executive Emma Woods said: “The main question we have been working on as a team is how can our guests feel safe but still have a communal wagamama experience, sitting on our benches.
"The team have applied our philosophy of kaizen - good change - to this challenge and I am delighted we have found a design solution which provides social distancing for our guests in a way which is true to the design ethos of the brand."
Design Director Mark Standing said: “Sliding screens (shoji) are at the very heart of the Japanese architectural aesthetic. They have been used for hundreds of years to divide spaces in buildings and rooms. I took my inspiration for the design of screen dividers for our long sharing tables and benches from this tradition”.