What is a Pop-up Restaurant?
Pop-up restaurants are a relatively new trend, consisting of a restaurant that sets up at a temporary location open for business. They are typically more popular for cafes or bakeries as it is easier to make and sell baked goods in a temporary space.
Pop-up restaurants are very popular during big events or festivals. Some pop-ups are actual restaurants that decide to do a pop-up on the side from their actual business. Others don’t have a brick and mortar location, they simply travel and make their profits from all their pop-up locations.
While pop-up restaurants are temporary, they have no time limit. Some last only for a day or a night, others could last a few months. It all depends on the owner to choose what type of pop-up they want and how many people they are trying to attract.
Most pop-up restaurants have a very short menu. Often only offering a couple of options to customers. Some of them will offer one specific food per night, and each night have a new dish. Others will offer a four-7 course meal with no options. These types of restaurants are made for a specific customer base.
Often the people who participate in these pop-ups are invited by invitation only to be sure the customers are open to trying new foods and have a diverse taste pallet.Given the limited amount of space and storage, keeping the menu short or set to specific foods makes it easier. Most are open to the public, however some are invitation only.
This type of restaurant allows for the testing of a restaurant concept without having to pay the full price to develop a whole new restaurant. The start-up costs of pop-ups is a lot lover than a regular restaurant as you are only renting a temporary space and you will have less overhead and labor fees.
Another pro to starting a pop-up restaurant is the marketing opportunities. Because these restaurants are only in a locating for a short amount of time, people want to take advantage of this. People on social media tend to post more about unique experiences then they would about something anyone can do at anytime. Having a lot of buzz on social media will help you make sure you always have a full restaurant at each location you set up. You also have plenty of flexibility with this type of restaurant as you can change the menu as you change locations. Most restaurants have a set menu in a set location. However, pop-ups are unique which leaves people intrigued as it’s something new.
One of the biggest cons of a pop-up is the limited space you have to work with. Often times you can only serve a short amount of people at a time as the space is small and cannot fit a large amount of customers at one time.
Another issues is the lack of returning customers. If you are moving from place to place, it may be hard for you to acquire repeat customers. Even if they loved it the first them they went, they may now be able to go again if you don’t come back to that same location.
While social media marketing is a pro, as stated above, it can also be a con. It may be difficult to build a large social media following if you are always moving. Also, because you are always moving, you must depend on social media as your main form of marketing which may be challenging at times.