Pop-Ups Lead to Possibilities


Editorial Policy

Published on

Last updated on

Hosting a pop-up restaurant event is a way café owners can try out edible options. These one-and-done special events provide food without committing to a set menu. Many café owners find it daunting to decide which foods pair best with the drinks they serve, but they also know that a solid menu will generate profit.

Guilder is a Scandinavian-inspired coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, that has hosted two pop-ups, both featuring pizza, with rousing success. The first event, “The Princess Bride Pizza Party,” was a collaboration between Guilder, GSMP (The Great & Secret Motion Pizza), and Coffee Beer.

Guilder co-owner Caryn Nelson says pop-ups are an “opportunity for creativity and experimentation, allowing for new customers to experience a space, and creating a fun party-like atmosphere for attendees.”

Pop-ups are a way to network and build mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses in your surrounding community. Nelson was inspired to host a pop-up at Guilder when she attended a GMSP pop-up at Coffee Beer and was “blown away with their deliciousness.”

For cafés still fine-tuning their food menu or looking to expand edible options, pop-ups are an opportunity to try out dishes and see what customers are interested in eating.

Cafés with set food menus can also benefit from hosting pop-ups, because of the variety they provide. Guilder typically offers a Scandinavian-inspired food menu featuring specialty porridge and toast. Nelson says, “We don’t offer pizza on our regular food menu, so it is a fun and easy way to switch it up a bit.”

Flexibility is another benefit of hosting pop-up events. Café owners can take advantage of certain times of day when customers may be more interested in sitting down for a meal than just a solo beverage. Nelson says, “We have some flexibility with our closing time, so dinner pop-ups make the most sense for our space because it would otherwise be vacant after 7 p.m.”

Pop-ups also offer an element of surprise, and their inherent sense of specialness is an effective tool for attracting customers. The “get it before it’s gone” mentality associated with pop-ups generates excitement and interest.

Pop-ups are fun opportunities to make connections with other businesses in your community, and expand the scope of your café’s food offerings.

Share This Article

Ariel Kusby

Join 7,000+ coffee pros and get top stories, deals, and other industry goodies in your inbox each week.

Other Articles You May Like

How To Develop A Café Menu

Building your menu with with your customers and staff in mind sets the foundation for a successful café.
by Ellie Bradley | January 26, 2023

Heavy Rotation: On Picking Music For The Café

For many café owners, music tracks are that continuous backbeat under a busy coffee business, a statement of the space, and an exclamation of the people working there. More than just a mood setter,…
by Peter Agostinelli | January 10, 2023

Is It Time to Raise Your Prices?

Coffee shops face a challenge: should they absorb the rising cost of goods or pass along costs to the customer? Here’s how business owners decide when to increase menu prices.
by Haley Greene | January 4, 2023

Is Your Café Kid Friendly?

Menus, play areas, booster chairs, and a welcoming attitude show your kid-friendly colors.
by Ellie Bradley and Chris Lucia | January 3, 2023