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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 01-28-2014, 09:28 PM   #1
cityslickersbbq
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Default Pop up restaurant

I have recently moved into a new commissary kitchen and they have the option of doing a "pop up restaurant". What this means is that 1 or 2 days a week (they have selected Tuesday evenings and all day Saturdays) I am able to sell bbq meats, sides, sauce and rubs.

The problem I am having is planning out how much to cook... I obviously dont want to make 15 racks of ribs and only sell 5 or smoke 30lbs of pork and sell 10 etc.

Has anyone else had something like this come up? I am thinking of doing something like a call ahead ordering where people place orders 2 days in advance but yet still make a little extra for the people that stroll in.

They also have a deli case where I plan to sell potato salad, cold beans, and slaw. This is another option that I have to do "heat and eat" meats. Again, not sure how much to plan for.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 09:33 PM   #2
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i think in a pop up the amount of people is already predetermined through resrevations or even ticket sales and then the menu is also set in courses where everyone gets whatever is cooked for the experience of it. this is what i have read anyway.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 09:47 PM   #3
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There are various types of pop-ups, pre-selling is one idea, it minimizes your risks, but, will likely result in lower sales. There is always a gamble, I would avoid ribs to begin with, or offer more than one meat, so that you can offer alternates if you run out. I suspect you will have to over-cook some. Do a lot of advertising as well.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 10:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
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i think in a pop up the amount of people is already predetermined through resrevations or even ticket sales and then the menu is also set in courses where everyone gets whatever is cooked for the experience of it. this is what i have read anyway.
This.

This poster has done several pop-up restaurants in Austin. You might contact him. He also has a blog.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=38312
http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/
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Unread 01-29-2014, 11:00 AM   #5
64Driver
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Where at in Minneapolis? I'd love to swing by and chat/chow down on some Q.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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Go to the event and get a feel for the crowd and people. Take a poll and ask people about bbq and what excites them about having a bbq vendor or restaurant 2x a week at that spot. know your audience.
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Unread 01-30-2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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Where at in Minneapolis? I'd love to swing by and chat/chow down on some Q.

its off 38th and chicago in south mpls. I believe I will start selling food mid feb-early march
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Unread 01-30-2014, 11:21 AM   #8
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maybe "pop up" wasnt the best way to describe. I do know how actual pop up restaurants work where you have reservations at a location that can vary from time to time.

I will basically be able to sell takeout those 2 days a week and I believe they have around 10-12 seats.
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Unread 01-30-2014, 12:20 PM   #9
landarc
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the pop-ups out here are vends, not sit down. There are many different types of pop-ups. You are really doing a vend situation, where you are selling food to people who are going to come by. More like a food truck than a restaurant. The biggest key is marketing and social media outreach, as you will need to draw people. Walk-ups rarely work well enough to justify the cost of opening.

Again, you will need to gamble a bit up front, and cook what you think you can sell. Fortunately, most folks love the idea of being the first to discover the next great thing. You can leverage that with social media and flyers, so people get the buzz. Go heavy on the items like pulled pork as you can freeze and eat it yourself over time. Ribs are harder to vend, and don't hold nearly as well.

Our experience with vending was that you can use a premium item like ribs, sell in small plate form (meaning 3 bones, one side) and not selling racks until verbal demand increases. You can cook a little less initially, and stay open longer.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 09:15 PM   #10
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Gotta know you market and demographics.

Portion size and cooking loss.

Then be prepared to gamble and take a loss or hopefully a sell out.

Generate facebook and other social media connections by reminding every customer to follow and like you and to keep a lookout for the next event and spread the word.

I'd rather sellout and go home happy but on the other hand cook light and get a bunch of customers who think you can't handle the crowd and maybe dont show up next time or it makes it that much more competitive and people get in line early for your q

Best of luck and keep us posted.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 10:35 PM   #11
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Pre sell evening meals (2 seatings) to take the risk out, and create some scarcity. Advertise to local businesses and "the lunch crowd" for Lunch time seatings. Sell your rubs and sauce to any walkins, and pre-sell them for the following week. Change your menu offering often to keep folks coming back to try new things.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 06:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cityslickersbbq View Post
its off 38th and chicago in south mpls. I believe I will start selling food mid feb-early march
Awesome! You can count me in as one of your customers!
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