I mentioned several times that I did some research into my tribes that exist in Copenhagen. During this quest I found a blog that belonged to one of the main Service Design groups in Denmark. I reached out in hopes of meeting like-minded people but sadly, it was summer, and they weren't holding any events during my stay. However, I continued to read their blog and looked at some of their past events.
One of their events looked so festive that I searched a bit more to find who had hosted such a lovely looking event. Turns out that it was hosted by a group called Rødder: Two chefs holding pop-up dining experiences filled with thoughtful, locally grown produce that were transformed with creativity onto a plate. I crossed my fingers and sent them an email to see if they would be hosting an event during my stay. Lo and behold, they were. So, I bought a ticket.
I arrived a little late to the dinner but was met with smiling chefs who directed me to a spot in a long dinner table setting. I talked to them about this set up and they described to me that it was very intentional on how they wanted everyone to feel united as well as cozy enough to spark conversation during communal dining. Remember - Danes don't just party with anyone.
I sat down and was met with two groups to the left and right of me. I must've looked timid (and I'll admit I was - I was horrified that I was late and also that it seemed to be a very family oriented event) so they were kind enough to spark conversation. Again, to me, Danes are so friendly and kind. What is this nonsense of them being cold and unapproachable? Someone please correct this misunderstanding.
We talked about many things and eventually, many of them asked me how I got a ticket to this event. I told them my story and they were sort of amazed. I then found out that Rødder was the first group to ever host pop-up dinners and spearheaded this notion of celebratory communal dining with local food. Here I was, sitting at a lovely pop-up dinner, with a ticket that was coveted by many who were met with 'sold out' notifications during an online check-out process. #jelly?
Needless to say, the meal was fantastic.
At the end of the meal, I talked with some of the chefs and they asked if I was the girl from Chicago who had emailed them about their event. Such great memory, right? We chatted a bit and I thanked them for the meal. We ended the conversation with them inviting me to their wine shop to chill and hang out the next day. Umm... yes. I will be there.
Service Design Notes: There were no technology components involved in this dinner experience except for the ticket purchasing which wasn't even checked upon arriving. What do you think about honor systems? I think that the better we get at service design, the more honor systems we will see in the industry. I believe this to be true because as we design better experiences, we connect with humans better and create mini-relationships even if it's for the designed moment. When we connect and develop these mini-relationships, we don't need to play police because cooperation, respect, and the golden rule is part of the transaction of receiving a service.
UX Notes: These long tables that were quite narrow were consciously selected and designed for these events by Rødder. When creating an experience, it is important to consider the physical space of where you are constructing your experience because this is where the unconscious mind and emotions creep in and can determine which direction your experience will go towards. I believe this set up is successful for Rødder because the physical space forced naturally reserved Danes to get close and enjoy food in good company.