Nav: Home

Researchers: Participants' freedom made Restaurant Day world's largest food carnival

February 28, 2018

The world's largest food carnival, Restaurant Day, spread to more than 70 countries because it operated in a completely different way than popular consumer movements in general. Usually, the leaders of a movement determine what the movement does and then try to inspire others to join their vision. Restaurant Day, however, gave everyone an opportunity to be as creative as they wanted, say researchers from Aalto University, Finland.

'The participants found setting up a restaurant of their own a personally meaningful and ambitious project. It inspired people to participate and try something new each time the event was held. The movement's leaders were not essential - instead, every participant was. Moreover, many participants in Restaurant Day did not see their involvement as political activism, which further lowered the threshold for participation', Weijo continues.

Restaurant Day invited people to test the limits of their creativity, regardless of their age and background. This attracted very different kinds of people to the movement.

'What started as a small hipster movement rapidly grew into a popular festival where everyone, both old and young people as well as native Finns and immigrants, prepared food in perfect harmony,' Weijo explains.

Originating in Helsinki, Finland, the carnival celebrated restaurant culture and gastronomy in over 2,000 pop-up restaurants in some 75 countries, on average four times a year.

Having grown into a global phenomenon, the aim of the carnival was to revolutionise restaurant culture by cutting unnecessary, bureaucratic red tape. The idea behind the original event was that anyone could set up a restaurant of their liking anywhere for one day without acquiring the necessary permits. According to the organisers, Restaurant Day was a protest against the strict regulation of restaurants and a way to let off steam regarding the effects of regulation on gastronomy.

However, researchers at Aalto University say that the revolution was carried out in a very Nordic way.

'The Nordic countries are consensus-minded societies that believe in societal change through traditional political institutions. Many popular movements end up marginalised if they fail to attract widespread popular support or party sympathies. In the beginning, the authorities and the owners of regular restaurants vocally opposed Restaurant Day. However, in the end it attracted such a wide range of participants that opposition was almost impossible', says Weijo.

The Restaurant Day movement was initiated in 2011, and the organisers decided to discontinue it in its original form last year. However, the movement for pop-up restaurants that can be set up anywhere without permits will be celebrated on the anniversary of the first event, which is the third Saturday in May.

The study in question has just been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the world's most important scientific journal on consumer research.
-end-


Aalto University

Related Consumer Research Articles:

Boosting the impact of consumer research in the world
The authors urge consumer researchers to break their self-imposed boundaries in order to broaden their impact, lest they become irrelevant to non-academic marketing stakeholders and cede influence to non-marketing academic disciplines.
Credit counseling may help reduce consumer debt
By the end of fourth quarter 2018, total household debt in the United States reached a new high of $13.54 trillion.
Research: Religion affects consumer choices on specialty foods
People with strong religious beliefs are more likely to buy fat-free, sugar-free or gluten-free foods than natural or organic foods, according to new research that could influence the marketing of those specialty food products.
Retailers can manipulate consumer regret to beat competitors
Markdown retailers can survive the entry of an everyday low price retailer into a highly competitive market by manipulating price, product availability, and the regret consumers feel when they pay too much or wait till a product is unavailable to buy it, according to a new study.
Consumer sleep technology is no substitute for medical evaluation
According to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), consumer sleep technology must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and rigorously tested if it is intended to diagnose or treat sleep disorders.
Consumer choices for the climate
The gift-giving season is upon us, and perhaps you're wondering how to give gifts that won't wreck the climate.
Surveiling the consumer for loyalty and profit
Surveillance may be a dirty word when it comes to domestic politics, but understanding what interests the consumer and how technology may provide insights is a legitimate concern of retailers.
Direct-to-consumer genomics: Harmful or empowering?
In a recent paper, Joel Eissenberg, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Saint Louis University, explores questions that stem from new advances in direct-to-consumer DNA tests, which have the effect of separating the physician-patient relationship from access to new personal health data.
'Cultural distinctiveness' can influence consumer preferences for certain products
The concept of 'cultural distinctiveness' prompts consumers to fulfill a need to connect with home by favoring brands or products associated with a related cultural group, says U. of I. business professor and branding expert Carlos J.
Why do consumers pay more? Rice research finds the surprising effect of consumer local identity
New research by a Rice University marketing professor debunks a long-held belief by companies that they could charge more for locally produced goods and services because of consumers' sense of attachment to their community.
More Consumer Research News and Consumer Research Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Uncharted
There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 2: Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day
It began with a tweet: "EVERY DAY IS IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS DAY." Carl Zimmer – tweet author, acclaimed science writer and friend of the show – tells the story of a mysterious, deadly illness that struck 19th century Vienna, and the ill-fated hero who uncovered its cure ... and gave us our best weapon (so far) against the current global pandemic. This episode was reported and produced with help from Bethel Habte and Latif Nasser. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.