Utilizing Temporary Spaces. Location Strategies of Pop-up Restaurants in Berlin


  • Nils Pfeufer Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Geographisches InstitutBerlin, Deutschland
  • Lech Suwala Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Stadt- und RegionalplanungBerlin, Deutschland




Temporary catering, Location strategies, Attention economy, Experience economy, Cognitive-cultural capitalism, Berlin


The paper engages with the accompanying location strategies of temporary catering businesses. Hereby, the contemporary trend of so-called pop-up restaurants in Berlin emphasizes a paragon for both the ‘temporality’ and ‘eventisation’ of economic activities. Against this background, a methodology mix consisting of quantitative (generation of a database) and quantitative methods (a series of semi-structured expert interviews) provides the breeding ground for an inductive analysis of this emergent phenomenon. The latter aligns with principles of Grounded Theory and attempts to assemble the current sparse insights with regard to this subject. The results show manifold objectives when running these temporary catering businesses comprising economic (profit-seeking, advertising and brand recognition, product testing and concept design), social/societal (connecting people, staging an extraordinary experience) and personal reasons (personal and professional fulfillment). Concerning locational choice, different location strategies of pop-ups become visible in this realm: either as locational cooperatives with business and/or communicative synergies or as isolated and closed events at unusual locations, which, however, always strive for a holistic experience with a distinctive atmosphere in the sense of “valorisation of a temporarily organised uniqueness”. These trends point to imperatives of an emerging cognitive-cultural capitalism, which is based on an eventisation of economic activities exploiting both the scarce resource “attention” and the memorability of experiences.


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How to Cite

Pfeufer N, Suwala L. Utilizing Temporary Spaces. Location Strategies of Pop-up Restaurants in Berlin. RuR [Internet]. 2020 Feb. 28 [cited 2024 Jun. 14];78(1):71-87. Available from: https://rur.oekom.de/index.php/rur/article/view/289