Exploring culinary experiences of visitors in temporary settings: the case of pop-up restaurants
Van Winkle, Christine
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In recent years, novel and innovative ways to accommodate diners and visitors’ desire for new experiences have emerged (Warnaby & Shi, 2018). Pop-up restaurants are indicative of this growing trend to provide an appealing combination of experiences and food. Considering the temporary nature of pop-up restaurants, it is important to understand diners’ perceptions regarding the multiple dimensions of the pop-up dining experience compared to traditional dining-in restaurants. By taking a qualitative approach, this study explored diners’ perspectives of their experiences at pop-up restaurants. Semi-structured interviews were used to get a deep understanding of diners’ perceptions about various aspects of their pop-up dining experiences. An interpretive thematic analysis (Braun & Clark, 2006) was conducted to answer two main research questions: 1) Is pop-up dining a memorable and meaningful experience compared to a traditional dining experience? 2) What are the qualities that create a memorable and meaningful pop-up restaurant experience? The findings demonstrate that the qualities which create a meaningful pop-up dining experience relate not only to the values offered by pop-up restaurants, but also to the personal values of the diners themselves. The connection between the value offered by the restaurant and the value perceived by diners is co-created and results in achieving experiential benefits for the diners. A model was proposed, based on the Service-Dominant Logic framework (Vargo & Lusch, 2008), to represent the co-creation of the experience at pop-up restaurants.