Home » Restaurant owner in Belgium misses customers so much she serves drinks to mannequins

Restaurant owner in Belgium misses customers so much she serves drinks to mannequins

a group of people wearing costumes

© Provided by The Independent

A restaurant owner in Belgium misses her customers so much she’s started to “serve” drinks to mannequins instead.

Therese Mahieu, the owner of Chez Therese in Rixensart, has made her own dummies with balloon heads and drawn faces on them.

Dressed in full outfits, hats and scarves, the figures sit at tables in the restaurant and are served red wine, according to Reuters.

Ms Mahieu says it gives her a sense of community amid the pandemic restrictions which have forced her restaurant to remain shut since October.

The stunt was in part a protest against the Covid-19 measures. Belgium’s rules dictate that restaurants cannot open for eat-in diners until at least 1 March.

They can continue to open for takeaways and deliveries, but must close by 10pm.

Belgium has recorded more than 716,000 coronavirus cases in total and 21,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Although it has managed to avoid another wave of infections this winter, as of 24 January 2021, Belgium had the highest rate of coronavirus deaths per capita in the European Economic Area.


© Provided by The Independent

It’s not the first time a restaurant has used fake patrons during the pandemic.

In May 2020, The Independent reported that eateries in the US were using blow-up dolls and mannequins to make restaurants look full when they had to limit capacity to 50 per cent.

a group of people sitting at a table: EPA

© Provided by The Independent

The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia decided to seat well-dressed mannequins at tables they were unable to use in order to comply with state regulations, while The Open Hearth in South Carolina opted for “G-rated” blow-up dolls from Amazon to make the place seem busy.

“I’ve always had a thing for mannequins — they never complain about anything, and you can have lots of fun dressing them up,” said The Inn at Little Washington’s chef, Patrick O’Connell, at the time.

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