From year to year, new trends take centre-stage in midst of ever-evolving restaurant industry. These restaurant trends help restaurant owners to thrive in the rapidly changing industry. As the industry facing an ongoing crisis of COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant trends play a more pivotal role. Pop-up restaurants are one of the five restaurant trends, reported Forbes Magazine. However, the term “Pop up restaurant” was practically non-existent before 2009. It was only after 2014 when it skyrocketed. For a while, the searches were down again but in recent years, the trend picked up again. According to GQ Magazine, the pop-up restaurant is the successor of the fold truck trend. From food truck owners to restaurateurs, all are moving towards the pop-up market. Like food trucks, pop-up restaurants have become the alternative to traditional dining. As people are looking for new and creative alternatives to traditional restaurants, the pop-up restaurants emerged out with their appealing themes, frequently changing menus, and culinary arts that people do not miss out. The trend becomes so popular that even big brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s have launched pop-ups on a variety of occasions.
This article aims to discuss the pop-restaurants and its possibility of becoming significant restaurant trends in 2021.
How Pop-Up Restaurant can be a Significant Trend in the Restaurant Industry?
Similar to food trucks, pop-up restaurants are springing up and creating a lot of buzz in the restaurant industry. According to “What’s Hot” Chef’s 2019 Culinary Forecast by the National Restaurant Association, the pop-up restaurants became the second most popular restaurant concept trend. As per the National Restaurant Association, Restaurant Industry Report 2030, 10 potential “disruptors”, or trends could influence the restaurant industry including the virtual & pop-up restaurants. Now the question is the term “pop-up restaurant” that did not exist up until 2009 suddenly became a significant trend of the restaurant industry.
Why pop-up restaurants became so popular? – As the name suggests, the pop-up restaurants are temporary restaurants that pop up out of nowhere. They are usually temporary establishments often at unusual such as venues parks, warehouses, plazas, etc. A temporary establishment can last a night, a week, or a few months. This is one of the many reasons behind the increasing popularity of pop-up restaurants amongst consumers and chefs alike. It is a great way for chefs to hone their culinary skills and bring out new cuisine ideas and specific food items such as fish and chips, fast food, etc. which captivate consumers to try something new and unique.
Digital media also played a major role in creating pop-up buzz and making it a significant restaurant trend. In this digital age, people are benefiting from online food ordering system to place orders at a restaurant over the internet. It is often the case with pop-up restaurants that there are not too many passers to try a new delightful dish. Social media platforms help pop-ups in advertising their brand, capturing the attention of potential consumers, and provide information on new menu items, pop up events, etc. Chefs using their culinary skills in preparing new exquisite cuisines intrigue, people. Enticed by it, people look for alternatives to the traditional restaurant and eateries.
These are just some of the many reasons why pop-up restaurants become a significant trend in the restaurant industry.
Purpose of the Pop-Up Restaurants
Opening a new restaurant is a daunting challenge for a newcomer. It is the easiest and cost-effective way in terms of renting space to use, trying new concepts and menu items. This stuff can revive a restaurant or bury it down. Thus, the pop-up restaurant is a great way to test new ideas and get an honest response from its consumers. Besides, if the restaurant is not popular in one area, it can be relocated to another. It fulfils the purpose of restaurateurs and chefs to hone their skills or test new food ideas. They can benefit from the underused space and kitchens to demonstrate their skills with relatively low expense. Many food trucks turned into pop-up restaurants due to their rising popularity.
Benefits of Pop-Up Restaurants
- Mobility: The flexibility to move from city to city, give pop-up restaurants edge over traditional restaurants. The temporary establishments make them do experiments with their menu items, locations, and themes. Mobile pizza van is one of the latest moving restaurant trends. From moving place, to place, they can build a strong presence. If the restaurant is not getting enough business at one location, it can simply move to another.
- Cost Saving for Restaurateurs: Establishing a new restaurant was never easy. From purchasing the space to expensive commercial appliances, it is a daunting task to, which requires a long-term investment. However, with pop-up restaurants, you will not need long-term investment. You can purchase or rent an unused space to open a restaurant. If the business is a success, maybe you can consider expanding.
- Attract Potential Investors: There is nothing in the world that entices investors more than a visionary idea. If your pop-up restaurant is a success and delivering ROI then you can attract many investors to back your business.
- Testing New Ideas and Concepts: Pop-up restaurants can be a testing ground for chefs to bring out new ideas and demonstrate their culinary skills. It is an opportunity to get creative and prepare exquisite, new dishes that can captivate customers.
- Flexibility to Change Pricing Methods: You can do little experiments with the food menu; incorporate different pricing methods like prix fixe menus for dining experiences. Unique menus make customers pay a premium to try something new.
It can therefore be concluded that pop-up restaurant is one of the significant restaurant trends in 2021. It gives the ability to test the new concepts, ideas, provides flexibility to pricing methods, and relatively inexpensive compared to opening a traditional restaurant. It offers the freedom to the young chefs who want to test their culinary arts without pressure. However, it would be difficult for retaining customers since you will be moving locations. In addition, the pop-up restaurant’s reliance on social media is too much. Therefore, if you do not have a strong online presence, you will find it troublesome to captivate new customers. Nevertheless, it appears though, the pop-up trend is not going anywhere and likely to stay here. So, enjoy the unique, delightful meals while you can.