The biggest complaint I’ve heard from people over the years about eating out in restaurants relates to value. It’s happened to all of us: you go to a restaurant looking for a good eating experience. The ambiance is average, the service is nothing special and the food is fairly ordinary. Fifty quid later, you wonder why you didn’t stay at home and cook the meal yourself.
If you’re thinking of running a secret restaurant or pop-up diner, the notion of value needs careful consideration. People will be paying to eat at your restaurant so you need to offer a memorable experience.
Imagine a punter going to work on Monday after being at your restaurant on Saturday night. A colleague asks them what they did over the weekend. What you want them to say is, “Well, I went to a secret diner at a stranger’s house. The food was amazing, the service was great and I met some interesting people.”
It’s a big talking point, and if it was a positive experience, they will be speaking highly of you. The colleague will want to know what you ate; what the other diners were like; if it was any good. If your punter recommends you, then the colleague may want to come too.
And therein lies the value of pop-up dining: it’s something off-beat where you have the opportunity to meet some interesting people. And it’s more like private dining than a normal restaurant because you are free to talk to everyone in the room.
So think carefully; unlike the average neighbourhood restaurant, you want to leave people feeling good about spending money at your secret diner / pop-up restaurant.
At Noshi Noshi @ Reynolds Diner, we add value in another interesting way: our diners have the opportunity to get stuck in and actually make one of their courses. I’ll tell you more about that in the next post.