Starting out as a pop-up is an increasingly popular way to launch a restaurant operation. But pop-ups aren’t just for new-starters. Launching a pop-up concept or location can offer great benefits for big restaurant chains and high-profile industry operators alike.
Benefits for Established Brands
For big restaurant chains, pop-ups are a fantastic tool to drive business innovation and success.
1. A place to experiment
The most obvious use of a pop-up is as a vehicle of experimentation. Large chains constantly need to reinvigorate their brand to keep their market share, defending their position from exciting young brands that might usurp them.
In recent years, there have been a slew of high-profile examples, such as Pret a Manger’s dinner menu pop-up, Good Evenings on the Strand. Pop-ups make the perfect laboratory for established restaurant chains since if the concept doesn’t sell well, there is little damage to the brand and the failure will be quickly forgotten.
Conversely, if the pop-up succeeds, then established chains already have the resources to proliferate the concept into new locations or incorporate new MOs into their established stores.
2. Positive association
Pop-ups are also a way for big chains to associate themselves with symbols which complement their brand. This can be as simple physical association, such as launching a pop-up in an area of town which has quickly become a restaurant hotspot.
Placing a pop-up operation in a trendy part of the city can act as a stopgap until the chain manages to open a new permanent branch. As a quickly deployable representation of the brand, pop-ups can in this way reinforce their brand presence.
Benefits for High-Profile Operators
It isn’t just big chains that can benefit. Prominent industry individuals can – and often do – use pop-ups to ramp up interest in their brand, win over critics and simply keep themselves in the limelight.
1. Extend reach into new markets
Last year, Heston Blumenthal famously relocated The Fat Duck to Melbourne, but this February he used a string of cleverly-marketed ‘’ across Melbourne to boost his brand down under. The locations of kitchens were revealed cryptically through the social channels of MasterChef Australia, which he presents
2. Establish thought-leadership
Because pop-ups do not need to demonstrate long-term economic viability, they can get off the ground in a matter of weeks. This allows industry champions to showcase bold new modes of operation as a glimpse of what the future of the industry might hold.
Using pop-ups to exhibit a vision of the industry’s future (for example, by only selling wine on the tap as opposed to by the bottle or glass) is an excellent way for high-profile operator to maintain their status as an industry innovator and thought-leader.
Pop-ups are the exciting, experimental life-blood of London’s dining scene. If you are an established brand looking for the perfect property to launch an exciting new concept, get in touch with our London property agents today. Our unparalleled industry knowledge will ensure you see the very best properties available.
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