The pop-up invasion is sweeping the nation! However, is it right for your operation? Pop-up concepts are smaller, independent foodservice projects that are specifically intended to provide a temporary experience.
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about integrating pop-up experiences into your operational repertoire:
- Additional Revenue Generating Stream
When considering a new revenue generator, portable retail “pop up” counter
may be the answer to capturing more sales. With minimal space requirements, introducing a new menu/concept may be the most lucrative investment for you.
- Direct Feedback
A pop-up gives you an opportunity to have a direct conversation; people love to interact about new or different food offerings, especially if they know they will be an active part in the decision-making process.
- Capitalizing on Underutilized Spaces
A pop-up can expand the boundaries of your typical service area. By converting a space that might otherwise be going to waste into a retail-dining concept, you can begin to generate new profits and make a lasting first impression on your guests.
- Creating a personalized, one-of-a-kind experience
It is not often that foodservice operators have the flexibility to provide a brand new concept, which can provide a unique insight into the particular tastes of a particular customer base. Customers are pleasantly surprised when a foodservice operation proves that they are interested in delighting them with relevant and personal concepts.
- Create an “image” of your establishment
With a pop-up, you give yourself the ability to refine the presentation of your operation without the risk of alienating loyal customers. You gain access to more creative freedom than when you have to satisfy larger customer groups; you can satisfy niches in ways that you cannot otherwise. In addition, who knows, perhaps you will find a new favorite for the regular menu.
- Employee / Leadership Development
Your executive chef can use pop-ups as a way to test potential leaders among current staff members. With little chance of affecting the reputation of the larger operation, it is the perfect laboratory for leadership development.
- Keeping up with trends
While they all might seem tempting, not every trend is compatible with your community. However, which ones will cause a splash, and which will fall flat? A pop-up concept can allow you to test them first, giving you invaluable data on which to base larger decisions.
- Recipe Development
There is no reason to risk a newly created recipe out of the gate. A pop-up gives you access to market testing (and time to tweak) before a wider release.
- Social Media Opportunities
Social media is the new word-of-mouth, just on a much, much larger scale. Unbelievably, many customers will not even risk trying a new location unless they can see social posts beforehand. With a little planning, a pop-up can be designed to get your customers happily snapping, tweeting, and Facebooking about your operation.
- Customer Education (especially in K12/C&U)
The kitchen can be an easy window into new cultures. What better way to concentrate on expanding the world-view of your customers than with a pop-up focusing on a particular part of the world
There are many ways that a pop-up concept can support and enhance your current foodservice operations, but a lot depends on what kind of equipment you have on-hand to execute it.