MADRID, Spain – The Associated Press has identified the Madrid-based Silk and Soya as the world’s first restaurant with a specific plan to protect against the H1N1 disease.
Located in a suburban shopping mall outside of the Spanish capital, Silk and Soya’s owner has adapted a number of food safety precautions on the advice of an outside consultant. Servers have their temperature taken before shifts, menus are washed after each use, tables in the dining room are set further apart than usual and servers handle plates of food with cloth napkins.
The restrooms are also designed so customers don’t have to fiddle with doorknobs, faucets or light switches; the water doesn’t even have to be turned on, it starts flowing when someone approaches. Washroom lights turn on when guests walk in, the elevator leading to the rooftop restaurant features a dispenser that squirts a blue disinfectant, which evaporates as guests wring their hands, and between the lunch and dinner rushes the restaurant opens its windows for a few hours to ventilate.
The 43-year-old owner, Cipri Quintas, said it’s not just a publicity stunt. He points out the consultant he used was paid US$1,500 to design the program, and the roomier dining rooms mean fewer tables and less revenue.