Pop-up businesses are set to surge in the coming months. Recent studies reveal that the pandemic created a longing for many to reconnect and experience retail and dining experiences in a whole new way.
The pop-up restaurant offers the very same benefits as a traditional restaurant without the sky-high costs of operating and opening. Many would-be chefs use the pop-up model as a way to expand both menus and careers, while others wish only to connect with their patrons, offering gourmet cuisine at realistic prices. If you are toying with the idea of opening a pop-up restaurant, take these steps to make the most of your culinary creation.
Find Your Purpose
Establish a purpose for your pop-up. Is it to build a solid reputation with a loyal following? How about testing a unique and fresh restaurant concept? Whatever your reason, build your idea around that as you shape a brand that will inevitably sell.
Choose a Great Location
A pop-up restaurant can be established anywhere, as long as the location is safe for cooking and serving. Consider the space you’ll need for a kitchen and a temporary dining room. You’ll need access to utilities to make things easier and more sanitary. Consider sharing existing restaurant space with another owner as you split the costs of operation and rely on each other to build a reputation and a solid marketing plan.
Apply for Necessary Permits and Licenses
As most pop-ups consider themselves temporary, many people try to save a few bucks by avoiding licenses, permits, and insurance. This is bad business in the long run. To avoid any potential legal complications you must procure the proper licenses, permits, and insurance to protect yourself and your patrons.
Create a Pop-up Menu
People who try out pop-up restaurants are looking for a fresh take on food. These food adventurists are looking for unique and creative cuisine. Being able to provide an eclectic fixed-price menu allows you to provide full service to guests as you put your best plate forward. Fusing cuisines is another popular trend in pop-up restaurants; Japanese/Mexican offerings and unique pizza toppings are attractive concepts for people looking for a culinary carnival.
Set Up Your Mobile Space
The heart of your pop-up concept is the space you choose to set up. Renting equipment for your space such as a refrigerated storage box may be necessary to make it functional; keep these costs in mind when setting up a good flow in your kitchen and a welcoming ambiance in your dining room. Giving attention to little details that make guests feel valued will keep them coming back for more, even as your concept evolves and expands.
If you believe strongly in your concept and product, then you should have no hesitancy in being able to promote yourself! Many pop-up owners find social media a great place to connect organically with customers and provide a more intimate way to invite people to experience a meal. Consider setting up a website where customers can leave reviews and you can provide blog posts to make you more visible online. Word of mouth travels fast as well. Don’t be afraid to get feedback from customers directly and ask them to share your business with friends and family if they found their experience to be enjoyable.
You’re about to embark on a great adventure, one that allows you to express your creativity and display your professional prowess. Dig deep, be true to yourself and your passion for good food, and get ready for one wild ride!