3 Reasons to Host a Small Pop-Up Restaurant

Aspiring restaurant owners: if you’ve spent enough time dreaming about your future as a restaurateur to research start-up costs, you likely found it equally daunting, expensive and fraught with risk. If you have a secure job with benefits, the last thing you want to do is risk your livelihood in pursuit of a dream that has no guarantee of panning out. But what if you didn’t have to take on that level of risk? What if you could invest a small amount in – and limit your risk to – a one-night-only pop-up restaurant event?

3 Reasons to Host a Small Pop-Up Restaurant

Even though the concept has only started to gain traction in recent years, hosting a small pop-up restaurant can be a great way to gain experience with minimal up-front cost and realize other benefits along the way. Here are three great reasons to develop your plan and breathe life into your pop-up restaurant idea now.

Test your restaurant idea

Lots of people have gone the food truck route for the proof of concept, especially during COVID. However, with the U.S. and world on the downhill side of the pandemic and with people eager to get back to normal and enjoy in-person events, a pop-up restaurant can be the ideal way to test your idea. With most commercial rental kitchens charging by the hour for use of the space, your overhead will be significantly lower than with a food truck – and no need for a vehicle equipped for towing.

Publicity for multiple start-up businesses

And while you’re at it, why not invite some of your foodie friends with different specialties to collaborate on your pop-up restaurant idea? Say you know someone locally whose specialty is vegan desserts. What about a local coffee roaster who’s running the entire business online and would benefit from the short-term physical presence in your pop-up restaurant? Your friend who specializes in tapas could also get in on the fun by developing the appetizer portion of the menu. Collaboration will give your target audience a chance to enjoy multiple venues for the price of one dinner or for however long your pop-up restaurant remains open, and your foodie friends all benefit from the exposure. Win-win!


This can also be a great opportunity for a fundraiser, especially during the holidays. Consider bringing people together for a Thanksgiving charity event and charge accordingly for a limited menu. As a one-time event, the urgency will help to boost ticket sales.

Now that life is returning to normal, there’s never been a better time to host a small pop-up restaurant.

The Cookline offers competitively-priced commercial kitchen and restaurant space by the hour to pop-up restaurateurs, caterers and more. Our space comprises over 6,000 square feet, and houses multiple amenities available for our kitchen clients to rent. Contact us at cook@thecookline.com or call us at (469) 209-4919 to speak with us further about the many opportunities available to The Cookline clients.