Swedish hotel transforms unused rooms into pop-up restaurants

by | 10 Jun 2020 | Design

Stadshotellet in Lidköping has responded to coronavirus by introducing a new F&B concept. (Photo: Lidköping Stadshotellet)

Stadshotellet has converted 67 of its rooms into private dining experiences as it successfully adapts to the new realities of Covid19.

Sweden has bucked the trend when it comes to how the country has responded to coronavirus, and hoteliers are now following suit, coming up with innovative ways to bounce back from the Covid19 crisis. We take a look at one Swedish property pursuing a novel strategy to generate business.

Lidköping’s Stadshotellet marks lockdown with novel eateries

Hoteliers the world over are racking their brains to devise safe and sanitary solutions to the coronavirus lockdown, which has seen many properties shut or empty amid fears that guests may catch or spread the virus. Yet Sweden’s approach to Covid19 has always been more relaxed than other nations, and the country has never imposed as strict a lockdown as France or Italy.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s business as usual in Sweden, and the public is still wary of gathering en masse where social distancing is trickier, such as in F&B venues. So, local hotels and hoteliers are responding by transforming their guest rooms into alternative spaces – for remote working, or now, at Lidköping’s Stadshotellet, into private pop-up restaurants.

A concept for our times

Stadshotellet’s general manager Jesper Alfredsson told Forbes that he knew he had to do something different in March 2020 given that business had decreased by 70% compared to the previous year. The hotel’s team duly responded, coming up with an innovative strategy that would encourage visitors while at the same time keeping them safe, by transforming some of the guest rooms into exclusive dining experiences.

This unique pop-up restaurant concept has been given quite a literal name – ‘67 Pop-Up Restaurant’ – because 67 of the hotel’s rooms are being used for the initiative. Rooms can be reserved for parties of up to 12 people, and guests will enter to find a candlelit setup, complete with relaxing playlist and food delivered from the hotel restaurant.

Because the food comes from the restaurant, the pop-up follows the venue’s hours, and the pricing is as per the normal menu. “We will probably do it as long as we have reservations for it, and for as long as we have restrictions,” said Alfredsson, who feels that the project will no longer be required when the situation in Sweden eventually returns to normal. “I don’t think the guests will have the same need to eat alone,” he added. “When the restriction is gone, you want to go out and meet people and see people.”

(Photos: Lidköping Stadshotellet)