Melbourne restaurant The Noble Experiment bared all earlier this year with a naked night of dining as part of a way to bring in new business—and to the surprise of some, it was a winner.
When you’re trying to think of ways to attract new customers, you might consider tweaking your menu, decor or ambience; you might invite diners to try your newest dessert, those comfortable new chairs or that viognier from South Australia you just discovered.
The one thing you’re unlikely to say is, ‘Feel free to take off all your clothes.’ After hearing a radio segment on Melbourne’s 104.3 FM during which the hosts flagged the idea of opening a naked restaurant, The Noble Experiment decided to do just that. In May, the Collingwood restaurant hosted 50 bare bums of all shapes and sizes.
And while it may have been the first naked seating in a restaurant in Australia, it certainly wasn’t the first in the world. A New Zealand news network was recently left red-faced when a live-cross to a Hamilton restaurant holding a skinny-dining session inadvertently showed genitals on television.
And more than 32,000 people have signed up for a chance to dine in the buff at Bunyadi, a London pop-up restaurant proudly promoting itself as that city’s first “clothing-optional restaurant.”
“I think it will appeal to vegans and naturists from all over the UK,” Bunyadi’s founder, Seb Lyall, told The Telegraph (UK). “It won’t be a first date venue but certainly second dates and dinner with friends.”
But the London pop-up hasn’t just gone nude: it has gone positively primeval: the kitchen will operate without electricity or gas, food is cooked over wood fires and served on earthenware crockery.
“We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colours, no electricity, no gas, no phone—and even no clothes,” Lyall said.
So, is nude dining a risk worth taking? Or will it just leave you feeling exposed?