Canopy Direct UK - Kitchen Extraction Systems

The Rise of the Pop-Up Restaurant

Pop Up businesses were once confined to those on the peripheral of mainstream society. They were considered a counter- culture, often organised and frequented by the arty, those at the cutting edge of fashion even the cash strapped. The paradigm has shifted significantly, and a pop up business can now be found on almost every high street up and down the country.

Isn't the truth that we are all seeking our experiences to be exclusive and unique and this is precisely what pop up businesses are offering.

An event that is only presented for a limited time, offering an experience that is not obtainable to the masses due to its very nature, no wonder they are whipping crowds into a frenzy, they are giving us exactly what we want.

Pop-up events are not limited to the retail sector; there has also been a surge in pop up restaurants since COVID and what better to way to test your culinary delights to an audience than in a way that means you can disappear overnight if it isn't well received or stay for the long term and gain a following. The trend has indeed been well received by the masses. In fact, we are so obsessed with Pop-Up Dining that some interesting facts have been reported by EventBrite.

  • Pop Up Dining has experienced growth of 80% since last year
  • 50% of respondents say that even with the exact same menu, they'd be willing to pay more for a meal at a pop-up event with a chef interaction than for a meal at a regular restaurant
  • Pop-up event attendees say they actually prefer to buy tickets in advance rather than pay at the end of the meal.
  • 49% would be interested in attending more of these events if local ingredients were used.

Lee Denny, the organiser of a 99-day pop up project called Counter Culture says he now finds it "Impossible to get excited about a new place that's opening indefinitely“ you think, 'Oh yes, I'll go to that at some point' and you end up there in 20 years. Whereas if it's temporary it's like: 'We've got to do it right now.'"

Brands began using the opportunity that the empty high street and even industrial spaces provided to showcase their brand and deliver a more personal experience to customers. This then progressed to using their existing spaces to branch into off the wall events.

Unlike traditional pop up businesses, such as shops and galleries, pop up restaurants have only really been in existence (according to Google) since 2009. Before then, the term was barely used. 

Centre for Economics and Business Research reported in 2015 that the surge in pop-up businesses had contributed around £2.3 billion to the UK economy last year and the pop up industry has been predicted to grow 2.5 times faster than the traditional retail model over the next 12 months. Our business provides collapsible canopies, traditionally for food festivals but recently we have been providing them for a number pop up restaurants who are providing gourmet cuisine in distinctive locations. We have experienced the growth of the trend first hand and seen some remarkable events gather huge crowds and followings and cannot wait to see how the trend progresses in 2016.