Now that’s what we call a contrasting situation where thanks to coronavirus, we are trapped inside our homes’ four walls. On the other end, we come out of it and land on top of a Ferris wheel, breathing in the freshest air and enjoying the openness of strikingly beautiful nature around. This is what is taking place in the life of the lucky few in Budapest, Hungary. Costes, a Hungarian restaurant is striving to outlive the pandemic, with a very novel idea that’s reaching new heights, quite literally! They have implemented new dining events on the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel to boost sales after tourism plummeted in the area due to the virus. People are resorting to all sorts of measures to revive the restaurant business whether it is by creating safe, geodesic domes or with outdoor seating or by recruiting robots as waiters to reduce human contact. Coste’s owner Karoly Gerendai is no different and said that turnover at one of his reopened restaurants is down to about a tenth of pre-lockdown levels, forcing him to look for new ways to do business, aka the Ferris wheel dining. Tickets for the event cost around 48,000 forints, or $154.40, for a four-course meal. The tickets sold out within days of announcement. However, Gerendai wants to repeat the event when the weather gets warmer next year.
The Budapest Eye is located at the popular Erzsébet Square in the city center, and the current version of it opened in 2017, with a 65-meter height from the ground. Karoly Gerendai said, “Now that there are not many people either on the wheel or in the restaurant because there are no tourists, the opportunity arose that we could do this. It is now especially important for people to be able to be separate from other guests to be safe, and the Ferris wheel is ideal with its separate cabins.”