Restaurant Pop-Up Essentials

August 29, 2017 Damon Morin




The restaurant pop-up is growing in popularity, and there are several reasons for this.


  • Real estate prices are high. You may not yet be able to go all in on a restaurant, but you still want to build your reputation as a chef. A temporary space is sometimes the answer.

  • Food trends are more fleeting than ever before. You might want to capitalize on a quick trend to promote your actual restaurant.

  • Restaurant pop-ups are great for building your reputation. And you might want to attract new investors who could help you set up an established business.


So here’s what you need to know about the restaurant pop-up.


Step 1: Take Risks

Think of your pop-up menu as a testing ground. If you’ve always wanted to experiment with a certain ingredient, this is the time! You only have a short amount of time to make an impression, so don’t be afraid to get creative and do something that people will remember.


Step 2: Don’t Forget About Permits

Some restaurant pop-ups don’t play by the rules (some actually take place in people’s apartments!). Do you need a permit for a temporary structure? What about a liquor license? Every city’s requirements are different, so make sure to check your local business requirements.

Step 3: Cheap Promo is Your Friend

What do we mean by cheap promo? First, keep it local by approaching a blog that covers events in your city to get coverage through them. Don’t waste money on print ads that no one will see – develop a relationship with a local food/culture blogger and ask them to cover the story behind your pop-up restaurant.


Another great way to target a local audience is to set aside a small budget for Instagram advertising, which allows you to reach people in your area who would be interested in your concept.


Need more marketing tips?


Download The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Marketing


About the Author

Damon Morin

Damon has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years, working as a server, bartender, and manager in several full-service restaurants and golf courses in Ontario. He studied music production in college and continued on to university with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher, but a great opportunity at TouchBistro brought him to Toronto. Damon began his career at TouchBistro in sales, progressed into customer success and training, and has now advanced into the resale account executive role.

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