News

Restaurant Day turns the logic of retail successfully on its head

Retail is not only economic exchange, but also an important part of social interaction.
restaurantday2011_tuomas_sarparanta_en.jpg

Restaurant day in Helsinki 2011. Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta

Researchers from the Aalto University School of Business and from Stockholm Business School examined the logic of retail when it does not focus on the distribution of goods and striving for profit. Restaurant Day, a Finnish phenomenon, provided an excellent opportunity to do this.

The study revealed that economic exchange is deeply rooted in the western way of thinking and, in addition to striving for profit, these models of thinking can also be used for many other purposes. On Restaurant Day, they become instruments of the community spirit and self-expression.

‘It is very interesting that it is the logic of retail that is used in self-expression and creation of the community spirit,’ says Antti Sihvonen, researcher at the Aalto University School of Business.

At the same time, the researchers noticed that the carnevalesque atmosphere on Restaurant Day plays a central role as regards perceiving and experiencing new possibilities. Momentarily, it helps people see urban spaces, the community spirit and exchange in new ways. Consequently, as an event, Restaurant Day is a kind of optimistic and positive protest, whose influence can nowadays clearly be seen in the streets of Helsinki.

‘In the Finnish daily life, Restaurant Day is a good example of communal creativity and collective willingness to create a change that challenges normal practices in a positive spirit,’ states Joel Hietanen, researcher at Stockholm Business School at Stockholm University.

The study was published recently in the esteemed marketing research publication Journal of Retailing and it is based on three years of  intensive participatory research.

Link to the article

Antti Sihvonen, Sammy Toyoki, John Schouten and Pekka Mattila from Aalto University participated in the study. Joel Hietanen from Stockholm University was also involved in the project.

Further information
Antti Sihvonen, Researcher
Aalto University School of Business
tel. +358 40 353 8350
[email protected]

Joel Hietanen, Researcher
Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University
tel. +46 72-318 38 70
[email protected]

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Read more news

A portrait of Laureen Mahler.
Research & Art Published:

Laureen Mahler uses origami folding to create bio-based packaging that is also pleasant to look at

Many products of the packaging industry are made of plastic and other fossil-based materials. The Aalto University Bioinnovation Center is developing ecological packaging solutions based on origami folding which also have value as beautiful objects.
 Tutkimustyössä hyödynnetään Aalto-yliopiston radiokaiutonta huonetta Otaniemessä. Kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Unto Rautio
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

New doctoral programme focuses on the energy efficiency of radio waves

Nokia's donation to Aalto University will support research into new mobile communications systems, and particularly hardware development.
50 shades of red cabbage. Photo by Aalto University, Rainer Paananen
Research & Art Published:

MMD CHEMARTS projects in 2022

CHEMARTS projects by members of the Multifunctional Materials Design research group in 2022
RDM & Open Science training
Research & Art Published: