Summer isn’t for staying in – and this applies to your restaurant too! With the temperatures steadily rising and the social calendars getting filled with all sorts of outdoorsy events, festivals and concerts – why not lean into the summer fun with a temporary pop-up?

Whether you are an established restaurant, or an inspired entrepreneur who’s just getting started, trust us when we say that there are plenty of benefits to reap.

What’s a pop-up?

A pop-up is a popular restaurant concept, where an establishment caters to a specific new location or a popular event for a limited amount of time before ‘popping down’. During this time, the restaurants typically offer a ‘down-sized’ version of their menu, just to give a taste of the full offering that’s available at their actual venue.

Even though this concept isn’t new, it still remains a huge restaurant trend year in and out and there are (at least) five very good reasons for it.

1. Test run with zero pressure

New pop-up menu

Running a pop-up is a perfect opportunity to drop the classics and experiment with new flavours! Whether it’s a new cocktail, dessert or appetiser – think of it as a free live market research, where you get a chance to get the feedback directly from your customers in real-time. Such test runs scrap the pressure of permanent changes to your menu and give you the clearest idea of your customer’s likes and preferences.

Besides that, a pop-up also provides a low-risk environment for a fresh restaurateur to finally launch your idea into being. Make most of the large crowds at big events to quickly see whether or not your idea has a strong hold in the competitive restaurant industry.

2. Make FOMO your best friend

One of the most powerful benefits of a pop-up is its ability to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Unlike the standard locations and the familiar menu, limited-time events naturally draw attention of the general public and tap into the all-too-familiar fear of missing out. 

With a now-or-never attitude, customers will be drawn to join in and taste new flavours, especially if you are leveraging the power of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. To turn your pop-up into a viral sensation, don’t forget to encourage customers to share photos, use hashtags and tag your account to spread the word even further on the day.

3. Bring your flavours to a new place

Connecting to new customers with summer pop-up

Even heard a saying – if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad then Muhammad must come to the mountain? Setting up a pop-up in a different neighbourhood or city works just about the same when it comes to tapping into new demographics and expanding your customer base. 

Think about it for a second. How many times have you heard about a great place on the other side of town, but you are just not sure if it’s worth the effort? By bringing your unique flavours at the customer’s doorstep, you are sure to put your restaurant’s name at the top of the list for their next night out. 

4. Fuel new collabs and partnerships

It’s not just about meeting your potential new customers – the pop-ups also serve as a great opportunity to expand your network for new collaborations and future partnerships. With other businesses eager to showcase their products, you can create richer experiences through carefully crafted unique fusions and pairings. 

What does that mean in practical terms? Before the event, partner up with local breweries, bartenders or wineries that would best compliment your food for a combined offering. It will certainly be a win-win scenario for all and secure a lasting impression to generate repeat business. 

5. Tell a story about your brand identity

A temporary pop-up for your restaurant

A pop-up isn’t just a temporary dining spot; it’s an extension of your brand identity. That’s why, nothing should be taken for granted.

From the choice of the event to cater to, the collaborations and partnerships, even the appearance of your booth – everything needs to be carefully thought through. Use this opportunity to convey your restaurant’s story, values, and personality in a unique setting. Design a visually appealing space that stands out and attracts attention and opt for interactive experiences, such as cooking demonstrations or tastings, to further deepen connection with your brand.

And while you are away…

Let Tableo help you hold your fort down at your regular venue. 

While you are out there testing new concepts, generating buzz, touching base with new customers, and enhancing your brand’s visibility – use restaurant management software to ensure your permanent location (or even locations) is not slacking either. Close off reservations for specific days, or use it as a fool-proof way of assigning staff for multiple locations depending on expected capacity – all to make sure that all customers leave with a long-lasting impression and desire to come back.

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Author Profile
Freelance copywriter at Tableo

Hanna Yerega is a freelance copywriter and a powerhouse on social media, where she combines her knack for compelling writing with a masterful grasp of digital platforms. Known for her exceptional organisation skills, she handles multiple projects with unparalleled precision. Hanna is deeply passionate about not-for-profit initiatives, using her talents to amplify their messages and drive meaningful engagement.