Ever thought of your favorite restaurant coming to you, your city for serving customers. Yes, this is now happening as India’s top restaurant brands are now bringing their pop-up restaurant to the city. From award-winning restaurants like Masque celebrating its 5th anniversary by doing pop-up in five selective cities to brands like Indian accent joining hand with Gauri Devidayal of Magazine Street Kitchen to feed customers in Mumbai. This type of concept is based as a ticketed tasting menu with multiple courses and you have to book in advance for either lunch or dinner.
Pop-ups are generally micro-events that are put up at temporary venues, setting up a moving kitchen and a different food experience for customers. A pop-up restaurant offers the same benefits as compared to any other restaurant excluding the investment of opening a standalone restaurant. Many chefs use pop ups as a way to expand their culinary careers, while others use pop ups as a way to level the dining field, offering gourmet food at affordable prices.
“Customers are looking for enhanced and valuable experiences when they are dining out. An activity or a menu pop-up brings about an element of interest and newness in the minds of the guests for the restaurant,” shared Chef Utkarsh Bhalla, Brand Chef, Sly Granny that is partnering with selected brands to collaborate with the venue, brands that have similar values of sustainability, sustenance and satisfaction.
Future of Pop-up
Pop-up menus are here to stay believed experts by adding that limited menu offerings which are apart from the a la carte menu give the diner a more curated experience to choose from. Chefs get to innovate and try their hands-on special ingredients. Such menus are engaging as these pop-ups are majorly done with artisan/local farmers to promote their products and educate the clientele about sustainability.
“I feel there is lot of room to showcase many talented chefs in India, this could be new normal in our industry,” said Chef Krishna Khetle, Director, Tafe and Spice Laundry by adding that restaurants and home-chef are stepping out of their comfort zones and experimenting with the ideas of a pop-up. Off late, everyone has been muddling over this idea, which got us thinking as well, its actually a great platform to show chefs their talent, plus cross branding happens within two brands.
Getting the best menu on demand
“Pop-ups at Sly Granny are designed keeping in mind how local produce/ingredients can be put together on a plate in a gourmet fashion and still define the culture and authenticity. It also caters to the well-traveled and globally exposed diners who understand what they eat/order,” added Bhalla who has received a phenomenal response at all his pop-ups.
With mostly everybody now vaccinated, people have started moving out freely where they want to explore and such pop-up menus are a great way to get diners to come back to restaurants anticipating something new and interesting.
For Khetle, a pop-up menu is completely dependent on place, eating habits, clientele, spending power, APC etc. According to him a pop-up can be of three types – Menu (basically a special menu that a restaurant serves for a few weeks), Restaurant (The existing restaurant converts itself to a new restaurant and a Proper Pop-Up (which has various specialised home chefs and bakers presenting their special menu for a day).