Postgraduate Dissertation

Experience Creation in Third Place under Social Distancing Rules: the case of cafés in Oxford


This dissertation investigates how experience creation in third place occurs, using the case of cafés in Oxford. It explores what it is about cafés that makes them such a significant part of many lives, and how that understanding can be utilised to deepen understanding of their value proposition. A multidisciplinary literature review was undertaken to maximise the insights available around the café as third place. The perspectives of 9 café customers and 3 owners were collected through semi-structured interviews and thematically analysed to understand the role cafés play in their lives. Four needs were identified (to meet, to belong, to restore, to be seen) that customers and owners value being met by cafés. A value proposition for cafés in third place literature is developed which emphasises the individual experiential nature of the third place; the third place means different things to different people. A framework is proposed, which is recommended as a tool to support owners to enhance their third place offer / value proposition; meeting the four third place needs of customers and of themselves. Recommendations build on the potential wider implications of this work for pubs and government agencies.

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Embargo end: 2021-09-06

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Rattle, Nic


Rights Holders: Rattle, Nic
Supervisors: den Outer, Birgit

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School

Degree programme

MA Business Administration (Global MBA)



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