In New York, at the Gaia Cafe, eat and read at the same time thanks to transparent tables
In New York, Italian cafe Gaia, attracting a 12pm - 3pm clientele for meals on the go, offers its customers a practical service for a real lunch break: magazines and daily newspapers are placed under the see-through surface, allowing clients to read and eat at the same time.
The transparent tables offer comfort while reading and save considerable space as dishes and magazines no longer collide! This practical design keeps the papers in good condition as it’s impossible to stain them while eating your meal.
The idea of offering this practical service came to the manager after spotting a trend every lunchtime: people who ate alone, workers on a lunch break for example, wolfed down their meals and never had a dessert or drink with their main meal. The restaurant owner realised that this was because of the discomfort felt by these people sitting at individual tables.
One customer from the Italian cafe, explained: “It’s true that at lunchtime I tend to buy something to take away and eat at my desk, because it’s not particularly pleasant eating on your own in a cafe – but here, with these magazines, it’s very different. Lots of people sit down alone at their tables and read a few articles which interest them while they eat. It’s like those places where everyone sits down at their computers but more retro. It’s also friendlier because we all share these magazines, people talk to each other to swap them, and that provides topics for conversation!”
By carefully understanding their customers’ desires and what was lacking in other restaurants, Italian restaurant Gaia was able to offer a free option specially designed for people eating alone. The cafe has, in doing so, managed to offer a practical service that is appreciated by its clientele, with minimal investment.