Trending Now: Pop-Up Bars and Restaurants


Lately, it seems like you can find a pop-up around every corner. It could be the preview of a forthcoming restaurant opening or a fun bar concept that plays to your inner child or favorite guilty pleasure. Pop-ups are a great option during the coronavirus pandemic — they are temporary so you can choose the right amount of space and you can limit attendance to comply with local and state health guidelines.

So, what is it exactly that makes pop-up bars and restaurants so trendy right now? Below, we break down some unique benefits of these temporary dining and drinking experiences.

They attract a new crowd

Pop-up bars and restaurants solve two problems that constantly plague the industry. First, how do you get repeat customers back in your doors? Secondly, how do you attract new customers? If a bar or restaurant is themed and timely, not only will you attract customers who are interested in escaping into that reality, but they will be posting online and telling their friends about it. (For example, the Stranger Things bar, inspired by the popular Netflix drama, popped up for six weeks before the season two premiere). With pop-up bars and restaurants, you’re offering customers a new experience that they can’t find elsewhere.

They’re cost-effective

For restaurant owners who aren’t ready to sign a year lease on a brick-and-mortar space, a pop-up is a great way to save money while testing out your concept. Plus, because most pop-ups are run within an existing restaurant or bar, you don’t have to spend money on a new space, kitchen accessories, or a liquor license. A pop-up restaurant or bar can give you an opportunity to test out your idea without breaking the bank or making a full-on commitment.

Their limited-edition nature creates a buzz

Whether it’s a bar themed around a time of year (like the holiday-themed Miracle bar) or your favorite television show at that moment, the “limited time only” factor is great for inspiring crowds to check out your spot ASAP. It creates a sense of urgency that’s sure to get more guests in your door, just so they can say they went. Nobody wants to experience FOMO, or “fear of missing out!”

They offer a unique pop-up experience

It’s normal to want to switch things up by going to a bar or restaurant you haven’t been to before. Pop-ups take this to a whole new level. Have you always dreamed of dining in the buff? Or, is being locked behind bars in an infamous prison while a mixologist serves you a drink more your speed? There’s no doubt that these pop-up bars and restaurants are giving guests experiences that they won’t forget — and will be talking about for weeks afterward.

There’s more room to experiment

A huge benefit of opening up your own pop-up restaurant or bar is the ability to frequently change the menu. If you want to test out a specific recipe, but aren’t sure how the masses will respond, try it at your pop-up. If it’s successful, you can consider adding it to your permanent menu in potential future endeavors.

They let guests glimpse behind the scenes

As a chef, it can be hard to feel close to your guests when you’re stuck in the back of your kitchen. Pop-up restaurants have changed that. The intimate atmosphere allows chefs to interact with their customers and get feedback on their menu items and more. When a chef is working at a pop-up, you can often see their style and personality come through a lot more clearly.

Choose your concept and get ready to boost your revenue

The best thing about pop-ups? You can try them at any time of year and hold multiple pop-ups every year! Choose your concepts and test them out. As this part of your business takes off, use Tripleseat to streamline events at your pop-up restaurant or bar. Schedule a live demo today!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Gather blog and written by Holly Edwards.