A pop-up restaurant has fewer risks because it is temporary. Pop-up restaurants can be a cost-effective way to revive or start your business. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to raise capital, expand your existing brand, test new concepts, make extra income, or start a career in foodservice.
No matter what your motivation is to open a pop-up, you need to first consider whether it is a good idea for you. Many restaurants use POS systems. You can get one here. Here’s how the rest of your journey will look once you have decided that POS is the right way to go.
Step 1: How to start a pop-up restaurant
- Create a business plan
Writing a business plan, whether you are a brick-and mortar foodservice business or any other business, is the first step to starting a business. You will need to set your goals and make realistic profit projections.
Also, you’ll need to identify your market and plan marketing strategies. This is where you can decide the time frame and length of your pop up. A pop-up restaurant typically operates for three months.
Step 2: How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant
- Get funding
Securing financing is an important part of starting a pop-up. Take into consideration all costs when calculating the cost: the lease, kitchen equipment, labor cost, permits and licenses, construction, furniture, decor and any other expenses your particular concept may incur.
A personal loan is a good option for someone who has no experience in the industry or cash flow. The best thing about online lenders is their speedy approvals and quick applications. However, interest rates tend to be higher. You might consider the following options for financial assistance if neither are available to you:
- Credit card for business
Step 3: How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant
- Find the ideal location
Pop-up restaurants are able to operate in spaces that would be impossible for a full-fledged restaurant. You can actually set up shop in one, as there are many restaurants that host pop-ups. Even empty storefronts and former restaurant spaces can be used.
These spaces are usually well-equipped with utilities so that you can get started quickly. You should also consider the accessibility to public transport and parking in your area.
Step 4: How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant
- Get the permits and licenses you need
It is not difficult to open a pop-up or restaurant. To legally operate your popup, you will need a foodservice and business license. You also need to obtain a permit from the local government. To find out the licenses and permits you need, visit your state or local government.
How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant – Step 5
- Get your kitchen set up
You can operate a restaurant if it is already open. Even better, you can create a menu using what is available to save money.
Sometimes you may need to supply your own equipment. You will need to have the right equipment for your pop-up restaurant.
Because you only have limited space, it is important to ensure that each piece of equipment contributes to your overall productivity, speed, quality, and efficiency. Restaurants will always need ice so it is worth investing in an easy-to-use, high-quality ice maker such as a Manitowoc.
Look for brands that are reliable and will minimize the need for maintenance. Manitowoc Ice is a good example. Your pop-up restaurant will only be open for a limited time so you don’t want equipment to stall.
Step 6: How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant
- Your pop-up restaurant
Your pop-up restaurant must be safe and comfortable for your customers and employees. There are unique challenges associated with greater flexibility in location. If you decide to set up your restaurant in an open space, be aware of the possible problems that insects could pose in the area.
- These are some important considerations, regardless of whether you’re opening a new restaurant or a shipping container.
- After all equipment is installed and a cookline/kitchen is built, determine the area capacity.
- Pre-sale or pre-fixed menus can be used to manage demand accurately and prevent overstocking.
- Secure your business with a flexible point-of-sale system. It is easy to set up and take down.
- For extra security, add rolling security gates and glass break monitors
- Weatherproof your pop-up restaurants
- Step 8: How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant
- Pricing your menu
You now know what it takes to make your pop-up restaurant a success. When pricing menu items, you should consider the time, equipment and lease, as well as ingredients, labor, marketing, supplies, costs, and everything else. The average food markup is 30%. It is important to strike a balance between profitability and competitiveness.
Step 9: How to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant
- Spread the word
Advertising via social media is an important part of starting a pop-up business. Pop-up restaurants are easier to promote if you focus on one theme, niche or trend. Your concept can gain traction if it is based on a popular trend.
Pop-up restaurants that last
Although it’s temporary, a pop-up restaurant may grow into a permanent one. It is important to consider the long-term when making decisions about the most important aspects of your business, such as the pricing and kitchen equipment.