It gave solo diners the chance to enjoy their favourite takeout in a restaurant atmosphere.
One Helsinki eatery encouraged singles to ditch a night in front of the TV for a meal with new friends
If you hate dining solo, but love to eat out, look out for the next pop up from the new Helsinki restaurant Take In. The Take In pop-up restaurant was created to encourage communal eating. The pop up was so successful the team are now looking at launching another restaurant in a fellow Scandinavian city. We spoke to team who came up with this innovative idea.
The restaurant threw open its doors in bustling Keskuskatu 5 district, and served up dishes from some of the city’s finest restaurants and as well as drinks by one of its hottest bars, to single diners.
The 50 seat eatery, which could be found near the National Art Museum and National Theatre, was launched by food delivery app Wolt and American Express. It gave diners the chance to order from more than 20 different restaurants and have their chosen dishes delivered direct to Take In, so they could enjoy their favourite takeout in a restaurant atmosphere.
On arrival at the restaurant the solo gourmand was guided to their table by a host, who would also take their drinks order from the in-house bar run by Latva. After choosing one of Latva’s famed vintages or microbrews, the diner could then select their chosen dish from the Wolt app, before either choosing to take in the ambience while quietly enjoying their drink or kickstarting a conversation with other diners.
Diners were able to choose from an array of different cuisines including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Finnish, and they even got the chance to order from four limited edition menus, as Atelje Finne, KOM, Muru and Pastis, created signature menus especially for the pop-up restaurant.
The Take In restaurant featured everything that you would expect from a hip establishment, such as sleek wooden tables, silverware and lush plants – the only thing that was missing in this restaurant was a kitchen. Lotta Wikman, GM for Wolt says: “We wanted a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, like a living room in the city.”
Diners could sit on their own or share tables. “We didn’t encourage solo customers to share tables, but customers were free to chat to their neighbours if they wanted to,” says Wilkman.
Blogger Eeva Kolu, who edits the lifestyle website Uusi Muusa, was one of the first to try the pop-up restaurant. “I thought the evening was a great example of what is going on in Helsinki at the moment – foodie culture meets tech meets start up culture. Events like this prove that almost everybody wants a less stiff, more adventurous Helsinki.”
This isn’t the first time that Wolt has been wowed its countrymen with its innovations. It raised USD$11 million by crowdfunding to help company expansion and was also one of the first companies in the country to trial food delivery by robots, which it is now doing in Tallinn.
The Take In restaurant, which was launched in November was only expected to stay open until February, but it has already been extended until 2 April. And while the restaurant was aimed at solo diners, couples, groups and families have also been booking tables at Take In too. The fact that everyone can order a different dish if they wish, has apparently helped solved the problem of people dining together wanting to enjoy different foods.
The Wolt team who are now about to launch in a new Scandinavian city are also looking at launching Take In there so that other diners also feel the love. Dining solo will never be the same again.
More Unique Eateries In Helsinki
While we wait with bated breath (and napkins tied around our necks) for the next Take In to open. Check out these other showstopping restaurants in the city.
Chef & Sommelier – Michelin-starred restaurant run by chef and first-rate forager Sasu Laukkonen. It only seats 25 people, so be quick.
Juttutupa – This former men’s only cafeteria is where Lenin is said to have sat down and drawn up his plans for a communist uprising. Now the only thing that will make people leave the mouthwatering Finnish dishes behind is the local band.