German Cafe Uses Pool Noodle Hats To Keep Customers At A Safe Distance

by Julie Scagell
Cafe Rothe Facebook

Pool noodle hats are just one of the many creative solutions businesses are coming up with

As countries look to begin reopening, businesses are left with the task of ensuring proper social distancing measures are in place for customers to safely return. One café in northern Germany put their thinking caps on and came up with quite the solution — a pool noodle hat that keeps everyone six feet apart while they dine.

Café Rothe, a restaurant in Schwerin located 60 miles east of Hamberg, is handing out hats fitted with pool noodles so when customers eat, they can feel safe knowing no one will get within a noodle length of them. It’s a look that says, “I may look like I’m down to party, but get any closer and I will whack you.”

To celebrate their reopening, owner Jaqueline Rothe posted a photo to the cafe’s Facebook page showing customers sitting at tables casually enjoying their meals like they don’t have a flotation device fixed to their heads. “Today it’s like this: distance measurement,” she wrote in the caption.

“This was the perfect method to keep customers apart — and a fun one,” Rothe told CNN. She said it was a local TV company, RTL, which was filming the reopening of cafes and restaurants, that came up with the genius idea. “It was a perfect gag and of course it was funny, our customers were really into it. But what it did show to us (was) how difficult it is to keep a distance of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet).”

Though they may look funny, Germany is no joke when it comes to protecting its citizens from the coronavirus. The country has one of the lowest death tolls in the world, which is being attributed to mass testing, early lockdowns, a robust healthcare system, and continual monitoring of those who tested positive even after they’ve been sent home for the mandatory two-week quarantine, The New York Times reported.

Cafe Rothe isn’t the only one coming up with creative solutions to promote social distancing. The owner at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, placed stuffed pandas in chairs as a reminder to customers to sit apart. The owner of Maison Saigon said it not only helps with social distancing but the owner said it gives customers someone to eat with. “Earlier we had only one chair for the tables where the customer came alone. But for me, it felt strange, so I thought I’d give them some company,” Natthwut Rodchanapanthkul told Reuters.

Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP/Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

As businesses and restaurants slowly begin to reopen, owners are bound to get creative when figuring out how to protect customers while bringing some semblance of normal back to people’s lives. If wearing a pool noodle hat or dining with a panda is what it takes right now, bring it on.