Qazaqstan: Return of eating out raises serviette-snatching concerns

14 May

14 May 2020

With Qazaqstan set to reopen small cafes and terraces from 18 May, a global shortage of extra-long litter pickers could scupper efforts to to eat out in a secure environment.

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Under strict social distancing guidelines, waiting staff should use 2-metre long garbage grabbers to serve food and clear tables, but the requisite poles remain in short supply.

Lord Venal, a frequent visitor to Qazaqstan’s hostelries, explained the serviette dilemma to kazaxia: “Anyone who has ever eaten out in Qazaqstan will know that waiting staff are trained to remove paper napkins [serviettes] at every opportunity. They hover around the table and snatch ones that are barely used.”

New social distancing rules mean that the over-zealous waiters and waitresses will no longer be able to lean in and grab the slightly soiled serviettes by hand. Instead, they will need telescopic rubbish pickers.

A search on Amazon produced no results for pickers of an adequate length, so it may be some time before it will feel safe to eat out.

“What bothers me is how they will maintain the 2-metre rule without the proper tools as I can’t see napkin-snatching habits changing anytime soon,” said Venal, expressing the concerns of many diners in Qazaqstan.

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