New pop-up restaurants are welcoming diners who undress to de-stress.
London’s first naked restaurant, The Bunyadi, celebrates a “Pangaea-like” experience where everyone is welcome. The pop-up restaurant, which opened in June, uses only natural ingredients in its dishes and candles for lighting. No phones are allowed, and bamboo partitions separate the diners to restrict contact and preserve a certain level of privacy.
“We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone and even no clothes if they wish to,” says Seb Lyall, the founder of Lollipop, the collective behind the The Bunyadi. “The idea is to experience true liberation.”
With positive reviews and a waiting list over 40,000, the restaurant seems to appeal to adventurous diners extending far beyond the niche subculture typically associated with nudism.
In Melbourne, a no-clothing dining event popped up in May 2016 at the appropriately named restaurant The Noble Experiment. The concept was created by Jo Stanley and Anthony Lehmann, two radio hosts who discussed the idea informally on their show. Listeners showed interest, and the hosts decided to follow through on their idea to promote body positivity.
Tokyo is the latest city to open its doors to a restaurant that seats naked diners. The Amrita, which means immortality in Sanskrit, will open in July 2016 and serve organic food. Controversially, and unlike similar venues elsewhere, there are strict rules about who can enter. Diners must be of a certain weight, between the ages of 18 and 60 and must possess no tattoos.
While clothing-free dining may sound like a gimmick, the fact that it seems to be popping up everywhere around the same time speaks to consumers’ growing desire for products and experiences that they consider pure and natural, as we explore in our New Natural trend report.
Moreover, these restaurants typically ban mobile phones, helping to create a decisive sense of separation from the hectic outside world. Our Control Shift trend report finds that 69% of consumers strongly agree that mobile phones should be banned from some public places like movie theaters and restaurants.
Brands can learn from these dining concepts. They can fully embody values such as body positivity by daring to create unconventional experiences—consumers are looking for anything unique and shareable.
Main image: The Noble Experiment