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4 Creative Ways Chefs Make Their Pop-Up Restaurants Stand Out

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April 19, 2021

The pop-up restaurant trend is exploding and for good reason! Pop-ups allow chefs to experiment with their menus, fine-tune their business model, and save on overhead. However, just like any brick-and-mortar, temporary restaurants need to captivate their customers and outshine the competition. Whether you are starting on your first pop-up adventure or have an established following for your temporary restaurant, our wholesale supply store shares tips on how to stand out. 

Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Outstanding Pop-Up Restaurants

Patrons and restaurateurs love pop-ups for their adventurous menus and cutting-edge concepts. Whether you are running a pop-up on the side of a mountain, in an urban hot-spot, or out of your own home, getting your name out there is key to a successful endeavor. 

Looking to cut through the noise and explode on the temporary food scene, but are unsure where to start? Check out these four exciting ways to promote your pop-up. 

1. Know Your Audience and Create Local Trends

One way to help your pop-up develop a foodie following is to determine your demographic. Is your temporary establishment in the heart of a burgeoning arts district? Devise haute cuisine, artfully plated, and host a post-gallery-opening seating. Reach out to your gallery neighbors and create a pop-up among the art itself. Use restaurant reservation apps to create an exclusive dining and art viewing experience.  Stretch the concept further by setting out art supplies and easels, and invite a visiting artist to conduct a high-end art class. 

Maybe your closest neighbors are tech execs? Incorporate cutting-edge restaurant technology trends into your concept, like self-ordering kiosks or futuristic, automated service ideas. Knowing your nearby clientele lets you anticipate what your customers are looking for and offer it to them!

2. Cook with a Cause 

More and more, diners are connecting with brands that go beyond supplying a product or experience. Modern consumers are looking for restaurants that care about their communities, engage in sustainable practices, or donate to worthy causes. If you want to stand out among the pop-up restaurant crowd, fold a meaningful cause into your restaurant concept. 

Perhaps you want to donate a portion of your food sales to local food banks or use your plant-based menu to discuss eating vegan’s health and environmental benefits. Choose a cause that is dear to your heart, and show your community how your restaurant contributes to making a meaningful difference. 

Pop-up restaurants can create experiences for their customers

3. Create an Experience 

Help guests get away from it all and create a completely immersive experience that transports them to another time and place. Are you missing phenomenal theatre and Broadway musicals? Take a nod from Plaza Theatre Broadway Pop Up Crave Kitchen, which created a Lion King-themed menu, and give your guests a dinner-and-a-show experience! Maybe you want to cultivate an air of mystery and escape? Design a chic speakeasy, complete with a secret password, hush-hush location, and elevated eats. Nothing is off-limits! Play around with fun decor and themed menus. 

4. Rethink Your Brick and Mortar

Just because you have an established brick-and-mortar doesn’t mean you can't jump on the pop-up trend. The beauty of pop-ups is that there are no hard-fast rules (except legal ones, of course), so utilize your space to help boost your brand and try out new concepts. 

Restaurant owners can rent out their spaces for pop-up restaurants

  • Open up your restaurant to other chefs and help host a pop-up in your restaurant. Invite a guest chef and work on a menu together. Partner on purchasing wholesale supplies and bulk beverages to help you both meet your bottom line. 
  • Offer space to new restaurant owners during your off-hours. For example, let them experience a breakfast pop-up if you are open exclusively for dinner, or vice versa.
  • Create a community night. Partner with another restaurant for a unique dining experience that showcases both establishments. 
  • Surprise diners with an in-house pop-up once or twice a month. Develop an exclusive menu highlighting the best seasonal ingredients that is only offered for that seating. Work with your local restaurant distributor to help discover exceptional new products to create unforgettable dishes.

Partner with Our Wholesale Restaurant Supply Store

Get all your pop-up essentials, including choice, wholesale meat and seafood, fresh produce, and beverage supplies by partnering with a bulk food supplier like US Foods CHEF'STORE. Save time on shopping by getting top ingredients delivered directly to you, or visit any of our convenient locations for all your needs. 

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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