If you’re in the food industry, you know that several trends have hit the scene through the years. There used to be a lot of food trucks that roamed the streets, offering everything from ice cream and burgers, to tacos and sandwiches. These days, it seems pop-up restaurants are all the rage. They’re cute and flexible, and they usually offer a unique cuisine instead of the usual food items you see in regular restaurants.
New chefs or entrepreneurs take advantage of pop-up restaurants in order to experiment with edgier concepts. So, if you’re looking to sidestep the potentially costly investment of putting up a traditional restaurant, building a pop-up might be a good idea.
Testing the Waters
Short-term establishments like a pop-up store can be a great way to test the waters if you’re introducing new cuisine to your target market. You don’t have to invest too much in equipment, labor, or location. As appealing as they may sound, though, not all pop-up restaurants are created equal. Some get to experience success within the first few days, and that’s it. Others start slowly and eventually hit their target.
With that said, it’s crucial to know what it takes to make your pop-up venture a successful one. Whether you’re a new chef or an aspiring entrepreneur who likes trying new things, here are some tips you can try to get your little culinary experiment popping and grinding.
Pick an Ideal Location
In the world of retail and food, location is always a key variable to make any business successful. Your space should be able to attract a lot of foot traffic, keeping in mind that your target market would most likely be passersby and people who are either heading home or going to work.
You could try searching restaurants in your area that host pop-ups. There are also unique venues to consider such as arcades, bowling alleys, breweries, and pubs. Another option is to look into having a shipping container cafe business, where you can convert a shipping container into a kiosk for your pop-up business. The design, size, and fit can be tailored according to your concept and the cuisine you’re going to offer. With this particular option, you can even set up your restaurant at home if your place happens to be located in a busy area.
Create a Killer Menu
If you want to make your pop-up restaurant a success, you need to clearly define what sets it apart from other contenders. Your menu might be the edge that could make your brand more unique and attention-drawing. If you have food items that are rare and can’t be easily copied by others, that should be your specialty.
What follows, then, is the pricing of your menu items. Consider the cost of your supplies, kiosk, and equipment before deciding on your final prices. You’ll also need to factor in other expenses such as licenses or permits that your local municipality may require for food businesses like yours. You have to make sure your prices will yield a profit, which would ultimately indicate how successful your pop-up restaurant is.
Come up with a Solid Marketing Plan
It’s not enough that your restaurant is there and waiting for customers to pop by. You’ll need to create a solid marketing plan to get the word out about your latest venture. You can tap into different social media platforms to advertise your food gig. Take high-quality photos that show your business name and what you offer. Make use of the check-in features to add the location of your pop-up.
You can also come up with promos and marketing hypes to increase awareness of your brand. For example, you can offer free drinks to the first fifty customers who’ll purchase from you on opening day. Don’t forget to give out flyers or business cards each time someone orders. They’re more likely to show those to someone else if they like your food. Make sure your brochures and business cards include all the information about your business such as contact numbers for deliveries or advanced orders.
As with any business, there are risks involved in putting up a pop-up restaurant. But if you’re confident that your menu will be a big hit, go ahead and test the waters. After all, there’s less investment involved in the endeavor as opposed to starting a full-fledged restaurant.
Pop-up restaurants can be your ticket to gaining loyal foodies and customers. Who knows, once you have the budget for it, you can start your own actual restaurant out of the inspiration and experience you’ve gained from your pop-up venture. Or you can just continue running your pop-up restaurant and consider setting it up in other locations to serve more customers.short url: