Pop-up restaurants are becoming increasingly popular. As rent prices rise and profit margins fall dynamic business ideas are the key to flourishing. They allow renters to put empty shopfronts to use and reinvigorate high streets with contemporary and cutting edge services. They are often brilliant marketing tools as well. Brands such as Nike and Prada have used pop-up stores to generate buzz and carry out market research. The same can be said of smaller pop-up ventures; they offer a chance to trial dishes and products without a large commitment. No one ever said that it was an easy job and there are some things that you should know before getting your serving spoons out.
Laws & Licensing
Despite the temporary nature of a pop-up restaurant local laws and licensing should be the first thing you look into. Being caught short here is going to sink your venture before it’s up and running. A short term lease can include insurance in the price. Alongside this food safety laws, including storage of food, must be obeyed and can result in serious consequences if ignored. Nobody needs a lawsuit on their plate.
Once you’ve cleared the legal barriers the next step should be developing a menu fitting your restaurant’s theme. You don’t have as much freedom as a regular establishment here, your menu should reflect the limited scope of a pop-up. Focus on formulating a fixed price menu that isn’t going to require an army of French chefs to pull off. You should also see how you can work with local business to share both costs and customers. Consider teaming up with a local brewery for your launch or hiring a local band to play the weekends.
Marketing & Social Media
The short term nature of a pop-up restaurant allows a close relationship with the omnipresent modern media, allowing the trends and topical issues of the time to be explored.Pop-up restaurants offer a unique opportunity when it comes to branding as novel and interesting food ideas are likely to gain traction on social media. Engage with the craze de jour and cook up a Donald burger or whatever else has the retweets firing!
Payments & Accountancy
Mobile payment methods such as iZettle make life easier for pop-ups. They cut out the fixed fees and contracts of the traditional card providers, alongside fitting into the pop-up aesthetic. Soon you’ll be taking money in no time! Finally, and this should go without saying, but make sure the only thing cooking is your food. Fiddling the numbers to swerve the tax man will get you caught out and your profits dashed. Keeping everything above board will grant you more peace of mind than a little extra cash. We recommend accountancy firm Alexander & Co who specialise in all things pop-up restaurant.
As you prepare to set foot into the world of pop-up cuisine, brace yourself for ups and downs, but be ready to enchant your customers with vibrant branding and topical concerns. From the heat of the kitchen comes the taste of success!
Check out the infographic below from Alexander who see the steps you should take to ensure your pop-up restaurant is a success.