Hospitality and fashion sort of go hand in hand. Trends come and go and at some stage, everything seems to reappear but with perhaps just a little slant. Over the last couple of years its all been about craft beer, beards (mainly on men), kale, tattoos and pop up restaurants, bars, gin events and more pop ups.
Have we reached pop up catering saturation point? Has it popped?
Pop up catering popping up our street cred…
Back in the day, pop ups were the next big thing, a cool thing to be linked too. Everyone had heard of one but no one was sure really what is was, it had a slight air of mystery. All we knew was that we wanted to be involved, wanted to try it and most of all boast that ‘we were there!’
My first run in was in London http://www.londonpopups.com/, people whispered about the next big thing, but the difference was that people actually went along and witnessed, enjoyed and savoured this new revelation. people tell people who in turn tell people.
They were cool, funky, quirky, quite artisan and bohemian in their nature. They were only there for one night or sometimes for an agreed period of time and not permanent in their DNA.
They had an air of free ‘n’ easy, commitment avoiders, what a brilliant way to test your product without having to sign your life away with silly rates and exorbitant rent. They could be found in abandoned garages, disused spaces, phone boxes, police boxes, horse carts, caravans, tents, gypsy carts, you name it, the quirkier the better.
They physically breathed life into old and tired products and spaces. Imagine a venue that time forgot and someone brought that place back to life and used it to test the latest gin, street food inspiration or cocktail.
Many well established big operators started as a pop up in a bid to almost “sticking a toe in the murky waters” to see if their product would have a viable shelf life.
Popping up or popping out…?
Has that certain air of mystery surrounding pop ups gone? We are seeing them everywhere and some are looking pretty permanent which kind of goes against their own very name. What do you think? Lets us know.
The problem is that a lot of the big conglomeration giants are now masking their very existence by pretending to become pop ups but lets be honest that this is a bit of a sham. Brands should not be using pop ups and pretending to be ‘real’.
Pop ups are a great get out of jail card if it all goes wrong. Blame the pop up.
Will they keep popping in or are they popping out? Get in touch and let us know your views…