02 | Sep | 16

Hugh Thomas

Pop-Up And Takeover

Everyone wants to ‘pop-up’ and/or ‘takeover’ these days. Whether it’s shops, cinemas, playgroups or magazines, permanence just isn’t deemed desirable any more. But thanks to our new app and website, and the noble efforts of others (but mostly our app and website), popping-up and taking over pubs is that much easier. As ‘easier’ doesn’t always translate to ‘good,’ traders might need some decent advice on how to not fail straight off the bat – that would only look bad for everyone involved.

So, as we start thinking about street food traders in the cold and damp of Autumn, here’s Dan Calladine, founder of LondonPopUps.com, with a few quick pointers for traders hoping to contribute to the pub food game.

1. “Make sure the pub, and the area, is the right fit for your style of food”
As much as it is about finding your audience, food conveys a strong sense of place. It’s unlikely you’ll get very far trying to flog your parmo in a Chelsea boozer, or eel burgers in a Devonshire cider bar.

2. “Develop a varied menu, from bar snacks to proper ‘knife and fork’ food”
Bar snack sales played a big part in helping pubs get off their feet during the post war slump of the ‘20s, and thereafter. Chances are, a pub’s patrons are after a pint and a snack just as much as they are a full-blown feast.

3. “But not too big a menu – do a few things brilliantly”
A lot of mainstream pubs and restaurants make the same mistake – they try to cater to anyone who might take even the slightest glance at their menu. Said menus, however, are as long as the Friday-Ad. So, as Dan says, do a few things, but do them well.

4. “Get a great dessert, or choice of desserts”
Alright, so you want people going home with your best grub lingering on the top of their palates. Trouble is, Sunday diners are so often left wanting a bit more, it may end up as another missed opportunity.

5. “Take and share pictures as you go – remind your followers where you are, and what the food looks like”
The pub will thank you for it.