Innovative Gastronomy – Design Thinking Workshop

Design Thinking UX

Innovative Gastronomy – Design Thinking Workshop

During the last day of my Moderator of the Design Thinking Course, we passed through the processes once again. The organizers chose the topic related to innovation in gastronomy and set up groups. We received materials from previously conducted interviews to create personas and define a statement how we can help them. During the ideation part we decided to develop further three ideas. In the repeated process prototyping and testing, we proved a winning idea. Because of that, at the end we worked on a prototype of an application for meal sharing.

I worked within the group of four people under the guidance of Design Thinking supervisors. Represented photos were taken during the course. Afterwards, I created graphics to complete the portfolio.

The course took place in Warsaw from 20 to 24 July 2020 (35h) and it was organised by Design Thinking Institute.

Design Thinking Process

1. Emphatize


Iwo is 30 years old. He is living alone in a three-room apartment in the center of Poznań. In the past he was a design student in Copenhagen. He cooks for himself. He works in a famous design studio. Iwo likes classical, simple things. During the working days he is very busy – work and training (basketball, swimming pool or gym). Because of that he always eats the same fast and easy meals: for breakfast – porridge or scrambled eggs, for lunch – pasta or noodles. On the weekends he has more time. He plays table games, goes to the cinema or grabs a beer with friends. Iwo likes to eat out, preferably pizza. For some time, he is dating a new girl.

  • When I was living in Copenhagen I had Italian flatmates. They were making amazing pasta almost every day. To have the best quality of products, they were going to the shop on the other side of the city. I would never do that.
  • Usually when I cook for myself it is Italian pasta or Chinese noodles with chicken. I prepare meals for 2-3 days ahad. I can eat all the time the same. 
  • On weekends I often meet with my friends, We choose alternative places with good rock music. It is important that bars or restaurants have a casual, comfy atmosphere. Normally we drink a beer or eat pizza.
  • I like simple design. Normally I buy black clothes of my favourite brands. It is always the right choice. I know that their products have good quality. For example I always buy the same model of Birkenstock shoes. But I don’t like visible branding.
  • Usually I eat out in places with vegetarian food.
  • I try to put attention on my diet. I train a lot so it is important to eat properly. Sometimes I prefer to starve than eat junk food.
    I do not like to spend a lot of money on food in restaurants. A decent price would be 20-30 zł for a meal. 
  • The first association with the word food: tomatoes of my grandma. It is a very simple dish, but she prepares it from the vegetables from her garden. And very important – tomatoes are always peeled.
  • I go out on weekends mostly with the same people – mostly friends from work. I like to feel accepted in the group and we have a lot of things in common: rock music, design, food.


To sum up analysis of our Persona we gathered and grouped our observations in five categories. In this way we managed to accent the most important feedback to further work.

  • Always eats the same.
  • Prefers to starve than eat unhealthy food.
  • Did not mention his girlfriend.
  • Has a healthy diet but eats junk food during weekends.
  • Likes quality but never goes to fancy restaurants.
  • Prefers vegetarian food but at home he often eats chicken with noodles.
  • Does not like visible branding but wears only Birkenstock shoes.
  • Quality of the products/food
  • Pasta
  • Chinese noodles
  • Tomatos
  • Grandma’s food
  • Simple, solid design of things.
  • No brandings.
  • Underground, hipster places, company, music etc.
  • Good food in restaurants costs 20-30zł (4,5-7 euro).
  • Likes quality but does not like visible brands. 
  • Likes rock and punk (alternative music).
  • Grandma’s (peeled!) tomatoes are his favourite. 
  • When he cooks on his own, he does not pay attention to the quality of the products.
  • It is important that he feels accepted in the group. 

2. Define

After we get to know our Persona better, we diagnosed needs for the further Design Thinking process. At the beginning we chose the most accurate statements:

How can we help Iwo to feel comfortable in the group like at grandma’s dinner?

3. Ideate & Test

During a group brainstorm we generated ideas. We selected three of them in dot-voting (three votes per person). Then we represent them for all groups with short descriptions. We received fast feed-back from the trainees. At the end everybody voted for the ideas by raising hands. It helped us to choose two most interesting ideas (A and C), which we would like to develop in the next step: prototyping.


A. Personal menu – each client has his own short menu with favourite meals.

B. Dress code – each day there is a special, obligatory dress code / motive.

C. Meal sharing – application to find company to eat out together.

4. Prototype


The idea of the personal menu supports these people who do not like to experiment with food. This type of client who always goes to the same restaurant and orders the same dish. They find comfort in well known, favourite meals. In the restaurant, each customer can create her/his own personalised menu, choosing from a wide range of dishes. The list is short and contains main meals such as: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, drink etc. The customised menu is available any time, when the client decides to come to the restaurant. It is a little bit like visiting a grandma, knowing that there will be her speciality waiting for you.
To represent this idea we have made a short scene.


Considering Iwo’s need for group acceptance and particular preferences, we designed an app that helps to gather people for common meals. In the first step, the user personalises choices for instance: time of meal, type of cuisine, number of people, price, interests and hobbies. Then he/she decides to join the existing table or create his/her own. App recognises the location of the user, so it is easier to find the closest restaurants, bars or tables created by others. The last step is to book a place at the table or confirm participants at the created table.
To represent this idea we have made a graphic scheme.

5. Test

After the presentation of our prototypes again we get a feed-back from the trainees. The whole group voted for the two options, choosing the most interesting idea. In the next step – prototyping we decided to work on an application for a meal sharing.


  • Personalisation is a great plus.
  • Is a restaurant able to prepare this variety of meals?
  • Guests can eat exactly what they want.
  • Personal menu provides comfort and safety,
  • The logistics could be problematic.
  • It could work well as an office canteen.
  • Maybe it is more possible in limited time – special hours.

Votes: 2


  • Photo of the favourite meal as a profile picture.
  • Social aspect.
  • Casual atmosphere (does not serve for dating) is a plus.
  • Possibility to meet new people in a group.
  • Should not serve for dating.
  • Perfect for travelers.
  • Additional online option – to share meals during the COVID.
  • To speed the choice there should be a possibility to choose time and place.

Votes: 12

6. Prototype

The group gave us valuable and positive feedback for further work. To prepare the final presentation we had just 15 minutes. Because of this, again we decided to represent the idea as a simple graphic scheme. Afterwards, I created a low-fidelity prototype to explain the app’s functionality better. First of all, we named the app FoodSurfing. We would like to create a associacion with CouchSurfing, that serves to connect travellers and locals. In this way we tried to introduce a casual aspect. In our project we considered also an option to create virtual tables, to share meals during the pandemic time. 

7. Test

At the end of the course, every group represented their final prototypes. This time voting was more particular. We were using (fake) money to support the project that we like the most. However our app was very popular, we have not collected the biggest fund. The winning idea was a social space that supports ecological goods, food recycling and sharing expiring meals or food surplus.

See my other projects from this course:

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