What you need to know about starting a pop-up restaurant

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Popup restaurants offer a quick, fun, and unique way of testing new and creative concepts while minimizing costs and risks. Key aspects of a popup restaurant include choosing the right location, buying or setting up a mobile kitchen, and marketing through local and social channels to attract customers.

Pop-up restaurants have been traditionally used by chefs to perfect their menus and expand their careers; however, more recently, the pop-up restaurant trend has picked up a low-cost alternative for new restaurant businesses. 

These pop-up restaurants can then be expanded into chains or full-scale restaurants, and given recent Covid uncertainty, the scalability offered by pop-up restaurants can be hugely beneficial.

Opening your pop-up restaurant has various considerations, with some of the key aspects highlighted below:

Location is key: 

Although pop-up restaurant locations can be temporary and mobile, it is critical to identify a suitable location that can attract high foot traffic and allow you to target the right customer segments. Being close to student communities or office locations can help boost sales, especially if the menu targets low-mid spend customers.

Good food needs a good kitchen: 

While pop-up kitchens are small and require little equipment, it is vital to have all the right appliances and equipment to prepare good quality food. These can be sourced at discounted prices through local classifieds and other restaurants that might be disposing of equipment.

The menu makes the sales: 

Having a good menu is critical and requires research to understand local trends, customer demand, and local prices. A good menu should offer various products and price points, however as a pop-up restaurant; you can start with a small menu and expand at your own pace.

Social media is your friend: 

Strong digital and social media presence is critical for pop-up restaurants, and time should be spent to define a marketing strategy and target the right customer segments.

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