Top tips for setting up a successful pop up bar
Temporary bars, or pop-up bars as they are frequently called, are gaining in popularity with both bartenders and bar owners. Whether you set up a pop-up bar at an event or on-site at your venue they can be a great way of creating more sales opportunities and raising awareness of your business. Pop-up bars are also a sure-fire opportunity for you to create different serves and meet new customers. So how do you set-up a pop-up bar? Take a look at our top tips to get you started.
On-site pop-up bar
Creating an additional, temporary bar in your venue can be useful to promote special events or occasions, work as a seasonal bar or even simply extend the selling points on site. It can be a fully functional bar or focus on a limited collection of seasonal or signature serves.
- Can give your venue a specific speciality, helping you to stand out from the competition and attract new customers
- Reduce pressure on the main bar
- Improves speed of service
- Gives you the opportunity to excite your guest with creative serves
- Ensure good communication with the main bar throughout the service, particularly when it comes to the likes of stock levels, waste, performance and security issues
- Offer a reduced menu as this can help with the speed of service. You could offer a seasonal or signature serve bar to help maximise opportunities and offer your customers something different
- Ensure all bar and table staff are briefed about the serves on offer
Mobile pop-up bar
These are perfect for festivals, fairs or markets as they can be easily set up at any location.
- Supporting local events with your bar can help make connections for future projects
- Drive awareness with potential customers and consequently more footfall to your venue
- Can be a great way to test a location if you are looking to expand your bar and open a new venue
- Gives you the opportunity to showcase new and creative serves
- Plan your set-up process and ensure you have everything with you (see our checklist below)
- Offer a reduced menu and keep things simple
- Save time and effort by pre-batching your most popular and complicated serves
- Invest in a smaller (portable) chiller for your ice and chilled ingredients
- Think about your garnishes and pre-prepare them beforehand if necessary
- Use plastic (disposable) glassware and provide bins - a top tip is to use distinctive branded glassware as this can drive curiosity and drive more footfall to your pop-up bar
- Base your pop-up in a high demand location at event
- Ensure all bar and table staff are briefed on the serves on offer
Set-up check list
The main challenge faced when putting together any pop-up bar is the set-up. A simple process is the key to efficiently maintaining standards and the consistency of service for customers.
A great way to do this is by using a checklist as this ensures your set-up is always to the same high standard, allowing you to achieve the best results.
Take a look at our example checklist below and personalise it to suit your requirements:
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