Coffee shop uses pulleys to follow social distancing rules while serving customers

A cafe is using a clever pulley system to follow social distancing rules while serving customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The owner of the coffee shop in Bangkok, Thailand, started using the rope and carts earlier this month as the country’s Covid-19 cases reached more than 300.

It allowed them to follow the government’s social distancing guidelines for people to maintain 1.5 metres away from each other and limit physical contact.

With cases in the country continuing to increase and reaching 1,045 today (March 26), the cafe’s pulley system has proved to be an intuitive prevention measure.

They can now continue to operate their takeout business while reducing the risk of customers and staff  contracting the disease through physical contact. 

Cafe owner Apirak Chamraksin, 39, said: ”I took this idea from social distancing in China. We heard that it works in curbing the outbreak of the disease and preventing new infections.”

Footage from the ‘Art of Coffee’ shop this morning (March 26) shows how visitors drop their money into a clear perspex box that is then sent to the cashier on a pulley. She puts the change back into the box and returns it to the customer.

Meanwhile, a barista prepares the order and send the drink back to the customer on a second platform. The coffee is placed into a box and put into a clear trolley attached to a similar rope and pulley system.

The shop has also put up a sign saying the shop prefers electronic payments, which customers can make by scanning a QR code on their smartphones.

Many believe some of Thailand’s earlier cases contracted the virus via banknotes received from infected tourists.

Apirak added: ”When we first started doing this, people made fun of it, saying it was strange. But actually, our customers all say that they feel safe when they visit us. So do the staff, they say they feel safe while working here, too.”

On the other end of the counter, the customers waited as a cart carrying drinks such as iced coffee are pulled towards them. A bottle of hand sanitizer is also placed nearby because the alcohol based gel can kill germs.

customer Nopparattorn Promkaew welcomed the initiative because the distance helped eliminate physical contact, even though the shop’s staff already wear face masks and rubber gloves.

”At first, I was a little worried about physical contact with others. But after seeing what the cafe did, I think they pay attention to customers’ concerns. I’m very happy about it,” he said