How to Open a Pop-up Restaurant

3 min read

Pop-up restaurants are a great way of testing a new concept, offering customers something new or providing a more affordable dining experience, without the time and cost involved in setting up a traditional restaurant. They are used by both new and existing ventures and their popularity is continuing to grow.

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Here we’ve put together some top tips on how you can set up a successful pop-up brand.

What’s the Purpose?

There are a range of reasons why restaurants open a pop-up and you need to decide exactly what the purpose of yours is. This could be to try out something new, to raise money for charity or to test a different location.

The Location

You can set up a pop-up restaurant just about anywhere, as long as it’s suitable for cooking and you have the right equipment such as commercial refrigeration products. Look at the size, practicality, logistics and access to utilities when you’re researching locations or consider using an existing catering space out of hours.

The Necessary Documentation

It’s essential that you have all the required paperwork in place – including insurance, licences and permits – before you open to avoid any issues.

Put Together a Menu

The pop-up economy generated more than £2.3 billion in turnover between 2014 and 2015 and there was over an £8 increase in the average annual spend of each customer. However, it’s important to create an appealing menu that is priced right if you want to attract enough customers.

Kitchen Layout

The layout of your kitchen will depend on the space you have and what is already in place. You should research all the different products that are in stock at retailers such as, and have only the items that are essential and you will use regularly, including commercial refrigeration units.

Design the Dining Space

The way in which you furnish the dining area will be based on how long the restaurant will be open for and how big it is. Renting chairs and tables might be more cost effective, or second hand could be an option for smaller outlets.


Finally, you need to make sure that consumers know about your restaurant, when it will be open and the type of food you’ll be serving. Social media is an ideal and cheap way of advertising and websites can be set up inexpensively.

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