How to start a pop-up restaurant

How to start a pop-up restaurant

If you thought pop-up restaurants were just another food trend that would eventually go away, then you’d be wrong. This is one trend that is alive and well. Pop-up restaurants give diners a unique experience, whether it be dining in the dark or going to a restaurant themed around food scraps. People will come from far and wide to try out what you’re dishing up, so it’s important that you get it right.

 

Choose a location

As long as the area is safe for cooking and serving food, a pop-up restaurant can be set up anywhere. Consider logistics such as the space you’ll need to set up a kitchen and a dining area and whether or not the location will have access to water and electricity – two vital components. If not, how will you work around these issues? One safe option is to house your pop-up in an existing restaurant space. This way, you could give the restaurant owners a percentage of your profits to cover associated expenses.

 

Apply for the relevant permits

To avoid any legal trouble you’ll need to apply for the relevant permits and insurance. Speak to your local authorities about the temporary permits you might need to have before you open. These are likely to include things such as a food hygiene certificate, public liability insurance and a license if you’re planning to serve alcohol.

 

Decide on the menu

Remember that most people who visit a pop-up restaurant will be looking for something unique, so this is definitely worth considering when you start to write up your menu. Take a look at the local restaurant scene in the area and choose something that is different. However, you need to be aware that you will have limited space to cook and serve so it might be best to go for a prix fixe menu that lets you charge a set amount per person for something that’s simple.

 

Set up a mobile kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, but your pop-up kitchen will depend on the space you have. If anything, you’ll learn the skills of how to prepare food in a limited environment which is sometimes necessary for a career in the hospitality industry.

 

Set up a dining room

Limited space may play a part here too, but it’s important that your diners have somewhere to sit. You might want to rent tables and chairs if your restaurant won’t be around for long but if its small enough you can probably buy the necessary items for a relatively low price. Something else you may want to consider is customer self-service, and for this, you’ll need items like a shop fridge for drinks and a place to store cutlery.

 

Advertise

Will your pop-up be open to the public or will it be more exclusive? If it’s the former, you can use social media as the primary source of advertising as it will reach a lot of people at no cost to you. You might even want to create a website for your pop-up depending on how temporary you want it to be. 

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