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Sarah Ward

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant? 10 Costs

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Answering the question of “How much does it cost to open a pop-up restaurant?” Is an integral part of planning for your pop-up restaurant. Pop-up restaurant ideas will end up being a part of your ongoing expenses, in addition to the technical aspects of running your business. From content marketing to wait staff salaries, the cost to open a pop-up restaurant covers quite a bit.

This BinWise blog post is the place to start when it comes to finding your cost to open a pop-up restaurant. From standard restaurant costs to forecasting for restaurants and their future needs, these costs will get you started. Read on to find your startup costs that will lead to business success.

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Cost to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant

So, how much does it cost to open a pop-up restaurant? The answer to that question is long, as it covers every part of owning and operating a successful pop-up restaurant. These 10 costs make up the foundation of your pop-up restaurant management and operations. Along the way, you’ll find costs related to these subjects, but your main cost will come from these, all added together. 

10. Web Design Costs

Your website design costs will depend on the type of website you want, and how much you want on it. Website design for restaurants often falls in the range of $3,000 to $15,000, depending on the complexity of your site. From there, updating your website on a regular basis will help you with digital marketing. 

9. POS System Costs

A restaurant POS platform is a must for a restaurant's operating costs. After you’ve learned what a POS system is, you’ll need to make a choice about which one is right for your business. Investing in the right POS system will help you manage expenses and profits going forward. It’s one of the first pieces of technology you’ll need.

8. Cutlery and Dish Costs

Cutlery and dish costs are different for pop-up restaurants than for standard brick-and-mortar restaurants. You’ll likely be working with disposable dishes, utensils, and everything else you need, because you won’t have a space for used dishes. The importance of sustainability will come into play, with the option of eco-friendly disposable dishes and other items. 

7. Business License Costs

Your business license costs will depend on your location, as the cost to open a business is different for every city, state, and locality. BinWise isn’t a legal advisor. Our official recommendation is that you review your local business license requirements, to make sure you have everything you need. 

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6. Staff Salaries

Staff salaries will be a startup and ongoing cost for your pop-up restaurant. Having a pop-up means you’ll likely have fewer staff than the average standard restaurant. That means less accounting business to work on. It also makes it easier to hire at the right pace for your business and pay a living wage to your employees. 

5. Ingredients Cost

Your ingredients cost is another ongoing expense for your business. You’ll have a mix of types of ingredients you need to keep a stock of. There are items you can buy in bulk and fresh ingredients that will need to be replenished on a regular basis. These will be some of your largest consistent expenses. 

4. Cleaning Supplies

The cost of cleaning supplies will be a major item on your shopping list. A pop-up restaurant is a business where you’ll need to be cleaning your space for preparation and for clearing away on a regular basis. Cleaning supplies will be needed from the beginning of your business. 

3. Location Rental Costs

As a pop-up restaurant, one cost you’ll have that is structured differently from standard restaurants is the price for the space you use. Maybe you’ll rent a storefront for a set period of time. Perhaps you’ll set up at different booths around the city. Whatever your business model is, the rental costs will be a part of your startup plans. 

2. Business Taxes

Your business taxes will come along with the legal aspects of opening a business. There will be a starting cost for taxes to get registered as a business, and then ongoing costs through the years. These will be consistent, although different depending on your location, and you can plan for them in advance each year. 

1. Marketing Costs

Marketing costs are another beginning and ongoing cost for your pop-up restaurant business. Branding and marketing, especially small business marketing, require a fair amount of time and effort. They don't, however, have to be a huge financial cost. Invest wisely in marketing from the start, and you’ll be set for a good future. 

"Key Takeaway: These 10 costs make up the foundation of your pop-up restaurant management and operations."

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much It Costs to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant

When you dive into the question, "How much does it cost to open a pop-up restaurant?” You’ll find a lot of information. For our answers to these frequently asked questions, we went toward questions that cover restaurant costs and pop-up-specific expenses. Planning finances can be difficult, but it’s easier with this information in your hands. 

How Much Does a Small Restaurant Make Each Day?

The average daily revenue of a small restaurant comes out to $1,350 a day. In parallel, the average restaurant owner will take home between $400 and $600 of that amount each day. The rest of the profits go back into the restaurant. Profits go to everything from payroll to ordering inventory. 

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How Do I Start a Pop-Up?

To start a pop-up restaurant, you have to start with a good business plan and restaurant concept. Learning how to develop a restaurant concept will help you get started. Along the way, you’ll need to secure funding, hire the right people, and develop your menu types and plans. Starting out, however, is as easy as creating a business plan and a goal. 

How Do You Attract People to Pop-Ups?

Attracting people to pop-up restaurants is all about marketing, branding, and consistent work. In a pop-up restaurant, your marketing plan needs to be airtight. That's because you can’t tie your advertising to one place. Attracting people to your pop-up restaurant relies on consistent marketing efforts to share information and excitement. 

How Much Inventory Should You Bring to a Pop-Up?

For each day or event at your pop-up restaurant, you should have enough inventory to maintain your restaurant operations for your open hours. The exact amount will vary depending on your menu items, and many people you can feasibly serve as guests during your open hours. 

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The Cost to Open a Pop-Up Restaurant: Keep An Eye For Costs Popping Up 

When you’re learning how much it costs to open a pop-up restaurant, you’ll find yourself diving into your budget and business plans. Once you’ve started, the costs will keep coming, but having them figured out from the beginning will set you up for success. 

A few costs you can tie together to ease your software needs are the services of BinWise and BlueCart. The BinWise Pro inventory platform, paired with the BinScan mobile app, gives you peace of mind when you take inventory. BlueCart’s order management software eases your order management system needs.  

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