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Everything You Need to Know About Pop-Up Restaurants: How Long Should Yours Stay Open?

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September 01, 2023

Pop-up restaurants are a growing trend, and for good reason. They give consumers the ability to try engaging eats in unexpected locations. Plus, they offer restaurant owners the opportunity to bring in $45,000 to $156,000 in profits with low overhead.

Pop-ups can bring in $45,000-$156,000 in profits with low overhead.


Are you hoping to start your own pop-up restaurant and take your culinary concept to the next level? If so, you want to ensure your pop-up is as profitable as possible for as long as possible. Gauging how long you should keep the buzz and your establishment going is crucial to staying relevant and making a name for your culinary endeavor.

How Long Do Pop-Ups Restaurants Last?

By definition, a pop-up is a temporary eaterie meant to draw in crowds and then close-up shop, leaving customers wanting more. Temporary restaurants can be a flash-in-the-pan, lasting only a few hours. They can also be semi-permanent establishments, lasting months. So, as a first-time operator, knowing how long to keep a pop-up going is ultimately up to you. However, determining your timeline becomes more apparent once you identify your end goals.

Pop-Up Timelines: What Works Best for You?

The length of time you want to keep your pop-up operational depends on many factors, including your space and overall goals. Some operators want to test their menu and brand concept before committing to a brick-and-mortar location. Others want to draw attention to their current establishments by offering specialty menus and exclusive locations.

If you want to establish yourself as an up and coming chef, the longer you keep your pop-up running, the better. You’ll have more opportunities to get customer feedback, test your concept, and save money before committing to your permanent location. 

If you have an established restaurant that’s part of an off-site community event or want to do a fun, themed pop-up to show off your brand, having a short-term commitment might be more up your alley or even in an alley!

Pop-Up Restaurant Location Possibilities

Choosing your pop-up location is imperative to your design concept and overall business model. Where you decide to have your temporary restaurant also plays a key factor in how long you want to keep your doors open.

Home-Grown Dining: Chefs and first-time restaurant owners often start small supper clubs in their homes. Overhead is low, part of your kitchen equipment is already in-house (literally), and the atmosphere is welcoming. The beauty of this location is it allows chefs to fine-tune their offerings and build a neighborhood reputation. Plus, you can play around with how long you want to keep your pop-up going without being tied down to financial commitments. 

Fanciful Food Experiences: The appeal of pop-ups is that they can turn any space into a culinary wonderland. Modular restaurants, warehouses and roof-top gardens are just some of the cool locations pop-ups can exist. Renting a unique space can significantly impact the draw of guests to your exclusive space. If you want to test out a restaurant location market or create a short-lived epicurean experience renting might be just the ticket to a new consumer market.

As a note, make sure your lease lines up with your pop-up longevity plans.

One-Of-A-Kind-One-Offs: Community block parties, art openings, ice cream socials, wine country tastings, and more are great one-off pop-ups to get your name out there. You can give guests some of your menu heavy-hitters to entice them or play around with different items to showcase your chef chops.

These specific events usually only last a day or weekend, and the location is predetermined.

Visit US Foods CHEF’STORE for Your Pop-Up Restaurant Supplies

No matter your reasons for embarking on your pop-up journey, you want to make your temporary restaurant unforgettable. Create dynamic menus, tap into current trends, and work with restaurant supply partners to save money on incredible ingredients.

CHEF'STORE stocks all your pop-up essentials at competitive prices, including wholesale meat and seafood, fresh produce, cooking equipment, and more. Visit any of our convenient locations to see what we have in store for you!

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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