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Pop Up Time - How to Host the Perfect Pop Up for your Restaurant

Handsome man in the kitchen

What is a pop up exactly? Other than being one of the trendiest buzzwords in the food industry right now, it's a simple, effective, fun marketing idea. Bring a restaurant to life for one night where no restaurant existed before. This can involve taking over an old warehouse and bringing in a chef, menu, equipment, and food, OR it can involve the much simpler method of inviting in a star local chef to showcase his or her cuisine in your space.

Let's assume you want you want to do a large scale pop up where no restaurant existed before. This will be an ambitious project, and there are both logistical and marketing concerns to address in order to make sure you can execute your vision. For logistics - permits - especially liquor permits - must be acquired first and foremost. Working with a local charity can help you obtain a temporary liquor license, especially if you operate in a state with restrictive liquor laws. Do your research and make sure everything is in place to avoid major problems with permits. Once you have permits, consider structure. If there is no kitchen in the existing location, you'll need a mobile kitchen. Or a friend with a food truck. Last, make sure you have a solid viral marketing plan in place. With just one night to sell tickets, create buzz, and turn a profit, you want to make sure you sell out all available seats. Strong social media and brand recognition will go far to helping you succeed here. This is a lot of work, but it's a great way to create buzz for your new restaurant concept or elevate your existing brand in a fun, quirky way.

If this sounds like a lot of work (it is!) consider instead having a local, well known chef, cook in your location instead. This works particularly well if you are a fast casual concept, such as a cafe or bakery, and you want to have a more traditional 'fine dining' chef in to create a cool menu of courses for your guests. You can also invite some food trucks to park onsite and sample their wares to your customers for a more casual and low key evening. Showcasing different types of food in your space gives your regulars a new reason to visit you. Working with a local chef with a big local following will also show your space to new customers who may come in based on that chef's marketing too! So have fun. Get quirky. Don't be afraid to let a new person in on your 'turf.' The exposure you get will lead to new customers, and everyone will have a fun night if it's executed properly.

2016-08-23 00:00:00
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