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Eat Your Delivery Food Next to Other Lonely Diners at This Pop-Up

Think of it as "co-eating"

Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

A pop-up in Helsinki, Finland might have just stumbled upon the answer to a question nobody was really asking: How can I order delivery and also go to a restaurant at the same time? Sure, table service restaurants kind of do that already if you look at them from far away — customers enter a restaurant, they order, and food is delivered to their table — but the AmEx-sponsored Take In goes a step further.

A photo posted by Eeva Kolu (@eevakolu) on

With no kitchen, guests at Take In choose from a curated selection of dishes from roughly 20 restaurants via an app called Wolt, the other sponsor of the pop-up. Guests eat their dinner in the Take In dining room. Take In offers bar service, and “hosting service,” helping get orders to the correct table. Guests who just want to drop in for a drink are welcome to do so. While it seems like a concept designed for solo diners, a Wolt spokeperson tells Monocle that the restaurant offers a solution for groups who can’t decide on what they all want to eat. The Take In pop-up started at the beginning of November, and will run through April 2.

This is a pretty novel twist in the continuing evolution of delivery service. In America more and more “restaurants” without dining rooms keep sprouting up, but these are operators relying on diners staying home (or at the office) to eat. The Take In model more resembles, if anything, the rise of coworking spacesthink of it as co-eating. Still, food cooked and served in the restaurant generally tastes better. Once a diner is going through the effort of not wearing sweatpants and also leaving the house, why not just spring for a full restaurant experience?

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