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Top Tips for Launching a Pop-up Restaurant

by Olufisayo
Launching a Pop-up Restaurant

Pop-up events have been very popular in the last few years. Their fleeting nature makes it easy to create a buzz around them. When something is only around for a short time, people are desperate to try it out before it’s gone.

And once they’ve tried it and liked it, they’ll keep coming back as many times as possible before the event is over. Of course, you can’t make a living from running one pop-up event, but running a series of them can make a good profit. Once you’ve put on one or two and gained a reputation, people will start to seek out your new events.

The most popular pop-up events are restaurants, cafes and bars. The great thing about a pop-up restaurant is that you can run it wherever you can find a space. There’s no need to hire or buy expensive restaurant space for long periods. If you’re thinking of developing a pop-up restaurant concept, consider these important factors first.

Launching a Pop-up Restaurant

What is the Purpose of Your Restaurant?

There are several reasons to open a pop-up restaurant. It can be a great way to test out a new concept without launching a fully-fledged restaurant. You could waste a lot of money setting up a restaurant that then goes belly-up, but a pop-up allows you to bypass the risk. Many chefs also use pop-up restaurants to raise their profile and have free-reign over the creative process. A pop-up restaurant can be great for drawing in investors too.

Choosing a Location

The nature of a pop-up restaurant means you can set one up anywhere, as long as it has suitable conditions for cooking and serving food. It’s great if you can find somewhere that’s already set up for this purpose – former restaurant spaces make great places for pop-up restaurants. And property owners could be keen to rent to pop-ups while they’re looking for more permanent renters or buyers. You need to consider the logistics and essentials of setting up a kitchen, such as running water and, electricity and space. Once you’ve found a space, make sure you get the correct permissions and permits.

Setting Up

Setting up a pop-up can be a bit of a whirlwind. From tables and chairs to table linen and decoration, you’ll need to work out how to lay out your restaurant. You might work with an interior designer or try to come up with a concept by yourself. Don’t put too much money into your decor. After all, it is temporary and you’ll want to invest your money into a point of sale software that allows for change. This will allow you to manage the workflow for your pop up easily. Essentially, you need to save money where you can.


With a pop-up restaurant, it’s important that you get the word out. You might choose to have your restaurant open only to people you invite, or it might be open to the public. Because your restaurant will be so short-lived, you don’t have time to spend months advertising it or spend a lot of money. Take advantage of social media, which is an excellent tool for advertising pop-ups.

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Robert February 25, 2016 - 8:09 AM

Great explanation! A tip: using a site like TurtleMeet.com allows pop-ups to advertise to travelers and locals, while building a following.

How to Know if Owning a Restaurant is Right for You April 15, 2017 - 8:13 AM

[…] As a restaurant owner, you are constantly meeting, greeting, and chatting up customers.  You also have to communicate between various levels of staff and mediate disputes. When you own a restaurant, you do not have the privilege of sitting in your office all day. If sitting at an office from nine to five is your speed there are many other jobs will make you happier. If you love socializing and making people happy, you will thrive.  As a member of the hospitality industry, your job is to please the customer, so while this is not always an easy job, an affable personality will help smooth over any rough patches. […]

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