Popularity of Pop-up Restaurants

The words “limited edition” have always had a mysterious appeal to consumers. Whether it’s a flavor of potato chip, a collectible toy, or, in the case of pop-up restaurants, an eating experience, the concept of temporality, novelty, and exclusivity draw buyers in, no matter what you’re selling.

In the case of food, the rise of food trucks perfectly displays the lengths some people will go to enjoy a meal. Yet, food trucks are not actually the most popular way to experience limited-edition cuisine. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2018 “What’s Hot” survey of professional chefs, pop-up restaurants are the more popular choice, and for good reason.

What Is a Pop-up Restaurant?

Pop-up restaurants are not new concepts, per se, but in the era of social media, they have enjoyed a surge in popularity among foodies and chefs. Occupying some sort of “temporary” space, these restaurants do exactly what their name implies and “pop up” in odd or eccentric locales for a limited period of time — days, weeks, or months. Unique atmospheres and open spaces, such as airplane hangars and city rooftops, are part of what add to the pop-up’s appeal.

Why Are Pop-up Restaurants So Popular?

The appeal of a pop-up restaurant is multifaceted, though. For chefs and restaurateurs, pop-ups offer an easy way to experiment with menus and concepts. In fact, pop-ups are often used to test a market and a business plan, and thus draw investors in order to then create a permanent space.

Pop-ups also allow famous chefs to “go on the road” and bring new flavors and experiences to people outside of their normal market space. For foodies, pop-ups offer an additional appeal. Discerning palettes can try out new, often exclusive foods and flavors as well as buy into an “experience” that is in line with the millennial market and its love of novelty and creativity.

How to Start a Pop-up Restaurant

Perhaps the greatest appeal of pop-ups from a small-business standpoint, however, is their cost. In contrast to the hundreds of thousands of dollars (plus daily operating costs) of a standard brick-and-mortar restaurant, pop-ups may cost only a few thousand dollars to get off the ground. By renting spaces and furniture to create a pop-up atmosphere, they not only avoid the large investment of long-term leases and purchases, but would-be restaurateurs are also free to experiment with atmosphere, décor, and other intangible aspects of the eating experience. Plus, with help from CORT Furniture Rental, you have access to convenient, delivered-to-you furniture solutions designed to help you get your pop-up restaurant off the ground and thriving.

The appeal of a “limited edition” is not always tangible. Limited-time experiences can draw people in and even help out other nearby businesses. In the food industry, the pop-up trend is just that, and people love it. That’s why it’s not going anywhere soon.