What Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant? And Why Do Chefs Use Them?
What Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant? We’ll be looking at pop-up restaurants, street food and mobile catering and the essential information needed to get on the ladder to a successful alternative catering business. And I will have a look at What Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant?
What Exactly Is A Pop-up Restaurant?
The pop-up restaurant trend has become a lot more popular recently and the trend seems to be continuing upwards. SoWhat Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant? Pop-up restaurants are the ideas of chefs who want a restaurant in a specific area or location for a set amount of time.
For instance, a chef may have a menu he wants to run for one week at a specific location in London. He will rent the premises for the week and he will produce his food for that week and then take the restaurant down.
It is also possible to do a pop up one day a week doing Sunday lunches or providing menus and pop-ups for special occasions including Christmas.
Essential Information About Pop-up Restaurants
Pop – up restaurants are not new ideas and have been around in the USA and Cuba for a considerable time. The trend in Britain and Australia has been on the up since the 2000s. Generally, people can follow the restaurants around using social media such as twitter and Facebook and making online reservations when a new pop-up has been planned.
What Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant? Pop-up restaurants, street food stalls and mobile catering are an effective way for professional chefs to gain exposure and show off their skills. This is a good way to gain attention from the media and investors and backers for bigger and more ambitious projects. To have a great concept and build on this.
Why Are Pop-ups A Great Idea For Young Chefs?
What Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant? – Pop-up restaurants are a great idea for younger chefs with low amounts of capital who are able to utilise underused kitchen facilities and experimenting without the risk of bankruptcy.
7 Key Steps To Open And Run A Pop-up Restaurant
What Is The Purpose Of Your Pop-up Restaurant?
There are several reasons you may want to open a pop-up restaurant.
These may include:
- Professional chefs wanting to build their reputations and gain interest from investors
- Pop-ups allow creativity and freedom in the kitchen
- Test out a new restaurant concept
- To offer the public gourmet dining at reduced prices
- Pop-ups are a good way for charity groups to generate funds.
“ Pop-ups originated in the 1960s and 1970s. Todays popular pop-up restaurants have many different designs and functions.”
Decide on the location for your pop-up
A great advantage is that a pop-up can be located anywhere, as long as it is safe for preparing, cooking and serving food. Things to consider when deciding on a location will include:
- Consider the size
- The logistics of setting the mobile kitchen up
- The logistics of setting the temporary dining room up
Using a current restaurant, for example renting a café, which is only open for breakfast and lunch. The owners will take a share of the profits to cover the costs.
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Apply for insurance, permits and licenses.
Be professional when opening a pop-up its essential to make sure you have all the insurances and temporary permits covered. If problems do arise you will need to be covered against possible legal action. Check with your local authorities about what types of permits you will need before you open.
Write, cost and price a menu
The menus will need to be unique and creative, as many people going to a pop-up restaurant will be looking for culinary adventure. Something that is different from the local area. Mainly pop-ups will be using a fixed price menu due to the shortage of space and cooking equipment available to be used. Fixed price menus will be charging the customers per head at a set amount.
Setting up the mobile kitchen and dining room
At the centre of your pop-up restaurant will be the kitchen, you will need to design and arrange your kitchen within the area you have making sure your appliances have access to electricity and water. This will not be an issue within an existing restaurant. All these new skills will be will be of great use when opening your own restaurant.
Equipment can be hired including – tables, chairs, linen, plates, cutlery etc..
Advertising and Marketing your pop-up restaurant
Social media is a great way to advertise your pop-up, using the ads to target your audience. Setting up a youtube channel is also a great way to advertise your business using videos.
A free website can be created in your free time at a fairly small cost.
“The big attraction to pop-up restaurants is the minimal investment of your time and money.”
Why should chefs open a pop-up restaurant?
Opening a pop-up restaurant is a great way for chefs to showcase their talents to a broad audience. Pop-ups can also be a test for a restaurant concept looking to be built into a permanent restaurant.
Who Are The Targeted Pop-Up Restaurant Customers?
Pop- up restaurants generally will have a limited menu. The customers to target will be more foodie types who are looking for a unique experience and are willing to try something new.
Where Are The Best Places To Open A Pop-Up Restaurant?
A pop-up restaurant can be located almost anywhere as long as there is space to safely cook and serve food. As long as any space is safe a pop-up restaurant can be located there.
Possible pop-up locations include:
- Empty warehouses
- A rooftop garden
- An empty old barn
A great idea for a location is to use a restaurant that already exists but does not open the whole day or is closed on certain days. With the owners taking a share of the profit to cover costs.
What Are The Costs Of A Pop-Up Restaurant?
The costs of a pop-up restaurant will depend on the size of the pop-up and the amount of equipment/staff needed. This is still a far cheaper way than opening a static restaurant. It will have a basic start up cost of £2000 + pounds.
How To Write A Pop-Up Restaurant Menu?
What Exactly Is A Pop-Up Restaurant menu?Remember that the menu needs to be creative and original to give a great dining experience, that will not be found in the local area. The kitchen will usually have limited space so a fixed price menu is the best menu to suit these situations. Possibly offering a five, six or even seven-course meal with no choices allowed.
Problems That May Occur With Pop-Up Restaurants
Pop-ups are similar to large catering events, but instead of a single service, the event will go on for days, weeks, or even months. To limit problems that may occur you will need to think about the logistics very carefully:
- How are you going to keep the food warm or cold during a service?
- Transportation of supplies
- Transportation of equipment
- Ordering the correct quantities of food each night
- Making sure you have all the correct licenses.