You know those nights when you and your friends are deciding on a restaurant — be it somewhere you’d go to or order from — and everyone has a different opinion of the perfect choice? One person’s craving a burger, another is in the mood for Chinese food, and a third is into something upscale or adventurous?
Now, the lucky residents of Helsinki, Finland, won’t have to decide. American Express and Wolt, a delivery service in the city, have partnered to launch a pop-up restaurant, called Take In, that allows every person at a table to order from the restaurant he or she chooses and still sit and eat together.
The concept is simple — and simply genius: At a centrally located venue that has no kitchen but does boast a bar with a selection of wine and craft beer, each diner places an order via an app on his or her cell phone. The app offers selections from about 20 popular local restaurants, ranging from casual to high end and offering a variety of fare, the lifestyle website Monocle reports. Then patrons sip their drinks, socialize and wait, and — voila — the food is delivered to them at their tables.
“We all know what it’s like voila you’re about to go out for dinner with a big group of friends. One of you wants to go out for pizza. One of you wants to go to that fantastic new fine-dining restaurant. One of you just wants sushi. One of you is only having salad because you’ve gone carb-free for January. What are you going to do?” Wolt Finland’s director, Lotta Wikman, told Monocle. “Well, the answer for Helsinki right now is you come to Take In, because you can do all of those things in the same place.”
If customers run into any issues ordering, the bar staff can help resolve them. Most people eat from takeout containers, but plates and cutlery are available for those not feeling it with the cardboard.
If you just want to drink and not order food, that’s OK, too. Wikman says the aim is to be a comfortable “sort of living room” for locals. And while she contends the concept is perfect for Helsinki, because the population is culinarily adventurous, it sounds like an idea any city can get behind.