Pop-Up Restaurants: They’re Here to Stay

People are aware that the restaurant industry is massive — to the tune of $372 billion a year — but, what they may not be aware of is that a quarter of these restaurants fail within the first year, and 60% fail by their third year. This rate of failure has driven some cutting edge chefs and restaurant financiers to seek out new investment opportunities.  The pop-up restaurant trend was inspired by supper clubs, and first started in London in the mid-2000s as “happenings”. A cheaper investment upfront coupled with the opportunity for constant reinvention and chance-taking make pop-up restaurants ideal for restaurant financiers and chefs looking for a new investment.

Only available for a few nights, weeks, or months, these hot-spot eateries allow entrepreneurs to make a name for themselves alongside aspiring or professional chefs. The appeal of pop-up restaurants is the mystery and exclusivity: they can happen anywhere, and a patron must be in the know beforehand. Which is why the blogosphere and social media play a large role in getting the word out about these new eateries.


There are different reasons for why people want to start a pop-up restaurant. You may be a bright young chef with a stunning idea for a new restaurant, but lack the funds to invest in a proper establishment. Or, you could be a restaurant financier looking to expand a current restaurant and explore the idea of opening a new one. To save yourself the headache of opening a new venture and watching it sink like the Titanic, opening a temporary eatery may be the best and least risky option for conducting market research.

The costs of opening a pop-up restaurant are much cheaper than other alternatives. In 2011, the founders of the Wise Sons Jewish Deli in San Francisco, California, started a once-a-week pop-up restaurant. They reported their start-up cost was $2,000 to $2,500 per week of operation. For a pop-up restaurant doing three or four nights of NYC business, the cost can be anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000. This is still way cheaper than other options like starting a food truck ($50,000 to $200,000) or a 1,500 square-foot brick and mortar restaurant ($300,000-$500,000).

Click here or the graphic below for a full-sized view.

via: Intuit

Share this Story
Need help creating incredible infographics? Let Column Five hook you up.
Load More Related Articles

Facebook Comments

Get inspiration in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.