Pop-up Restaurants

 Photo: Aubrie Pick / Special to The Chronicle

Photo: Aubrie Pick / Special to The Chronicle

The restaurant industry is an entry point for many low income, recently immigrated, or those with a love of food, a secret family recipe, or have hosted a string of successful dinner parties.

During the 2008 recession, pop-up restaurants grew in popularity as under employed chefs or recently unemployed workers sought new avenues to sell food by renting out space in existing restaurants or even hosting dinners in places not designed to be a restaurant like car garages and office spaces. Pop-ups grew into a low cost testing ground for aspiring restaurateurs ($2,000 vs. $500,000+) to get in the game.

Pop-ups are a proven and affordable way to test the market, tweak the concept, and grow the business .Pop-ups provide a low cost way for chefs / restauranteurs to try new menu concepts in a low-cost way. Starting a restaurant typically requires a $500-1 Mil investment, while a pop-up can usually be produced for less than $500.

In the Web 2.0 world, developing a strong social media following is a key to success.  Chef / Restauranteurs use pop-ups to build buzz and engagement with their target audiences which they can then leverage for a future brick and mortar.

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