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Out of all the recent trends that have hit the restaurant industry over the past few years, the idea of pop-up restaurants is one that may be here to stay.


Pop-up restaurants are temporary restaurants that open (or ‘pop up’) inside of a space where no restaurant exists already, or where there is a restaurant already that’s going to be ‘taken over’ by the pop-up. More common in bigger urban areas with a lot of open warehouse space or restaurants with the needed facilities, pop ups are becoming increasingly popular and will likely be a fixture of restaurant scenes across the country in the years to come.


If you’re a restaurant owner who runs a pop-up and needs to manage space a little better, or if you want to start a pop up but just aren’t sure how to get yourself properly equipped and set up, here’s a few organizational tips to get you started:


Make sure your pop-up concept is finalized. Before trying to start any pop up, you’re going to make things a lot easier on yourself by settling on a concept and an idea right from the get-go. This will help you figure out what kind of kitchen equipment and restaurant shelving you’re going to need for each ingredient, and let you better understand what sort of tools and ingredients you’re going to need – and better yet, it will give you an idea of the kind of space you’re going to need to properly cook everything.


Get details of the space you’ll be using. After deciding what your pop-up concept will be, you need to figure out where it’s going to be and what you need. Will you be working inside a kitchen that’s already set up, or will you have to bring your own equipment? How big is it? What kind of access to freezers, ovens, and sinks will you have? Believe it or not a lot of pop-ups open in places that don’t have a lot of these in the first place, so you might have to plan ahead and bring your own in a lot of cases.


Figure out how to store ingredients. Proper safe handling and storage procedures are critical in pop-up restaurants as it is in ‘normal’ kitchens, with the added wrinkle that you’ll frequently have to bring your own storage and supplies with you to compensate for the fact that, chances are, the kitchen you’re working in doesn’t have a lot of extra space for your ingredients (and that’s if you’re working in a kitchen in the first place). Prepare to bring your own walk-in cooler shelving to keep your cold ingredients safe and separate from everything else in the freezer, and some rust proof aluminium shelving for everything else that doesn’t need to be frozen, and try to remember the smaller things like cutting boards, work surfaces, and bottles for toppings and condiments.


Will you need a dining room? Some pop-ups open in places so far removed from being a restaurant that there isn’t even a dining room for them to serve to! If you’re really out there in the wilderness, so to speak, you’ll have to budget for some kind of dining room setup as well. Remember to bring tables, chairs, or at least some kind of cafeteria-style picnic setting for everyone to sit and enjoy your food. After all, if they can’t stay there and eat, you might as well be running a food truck!

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