Finnishness to the fore at HOK-Elanto’s restaurants

HOK-Elanto project, 2016, HOK-Elanto

HOK-Elanto is one of Finland’s largest restaurant operators, and one of its most important customer groups is foreign tourists.

Ravintola Kappeli Helsingin Esplanadin puistossa
Corporate collaboration

Challenge: How could HOK-Elanto’s restaurants highlight Finnishness in their products and services for foreign tourists in particular?‍

2017, the centenary year of Finland’s independence, was expected to be a record year for tourism in Helsinki. Our challenge was to find out what aspects of Finnishness fascinated foreign tourists and how HOK-Elanto restaurants could highlight these themes in their services.

The project involved four restaurants in Helsinki: Kappeli, Salve, Zetor and Kaarna. All these restaurants reflect different aspects of Finnishness from marine to rustic atmospheres.

In service design, the result is not known in advance, since it is achieved after gaining an in-depth understanding of the customers. The service design teams determined the interests of various tourist groups by means of observation, interviews and co-ideation. On the basis of the ideas, they prepared prototypes, such as dishes, service encounters and signs, which were then tested by various groups. These were handed over to HOK-Elanto as service concepts ready for actual customers.


Result: Tested service concepts for HOK-Elanto’s real customers, such as dishes, service encounters and signs.

Read more about LAB8 service design