6 Simple steps to hosting the perfect pop-up dinner party
Jun 16, 2019

Novel, rousing, boundary breaking and insanely hip!

Pop-up restaurants have very much become a talking point for the restaurant industry in recent years.

‘The Pop-up Restaurant’ offers Talented creative chefs, with little financial backing, the opportunity to showcase their skills. It gives existing restaurateurs the ability to try a new concept with a limit for losses, and now, we plan to help all you keen foodies out there throw a pop up dinner of your own.

Step 1   You need a location!

Try to think outside the box – location is key here. Do you live near a nice beach or park? Does a friend have an empty farm field or do you have access to an old vacant work shed? (we suggest you clean the shed well before dinner!)

Whatever you decide, your location must be easily accessible to you and your guests, they need to be able to get there with basic directions and you need access for all the necessary preparations.

Step 2   What is your theme?

Decide if your Pop-up dinner is going to have a theme; this can influence your menu, your décor and the drinks list. If you plan to, lets say, have a South American influence then your menu may boast a Peruvian Ceviche, Pisco sours and maybe some Cinnamon sugar churros. You might dress your table with Inca inspired vibrant colours, baby succulents and host your dinner in a sheltered spot at the beach.

Step 3   Menu

Writing the menu for a Pop-up dinner can be challenging. You may have limited equipment at your chosen venue and need to consider this when choosing what to serve. If you are outdoors somewhere try serving a cold entrée, something easy to plate up, elegant but not too time consuming. For the main, try using a BBQ or portable gas stove, with some ready prepared garnishes or sides. Be sure to plan your menu so that on the day you can produce the goods without too much stress.

Step 4   Invitation time

Once you have your theme, menu and location decided you can send out some invitations. Try including a hand written menu as part of your invitation to build anticipation. Give them a date and time, explain you want to invite them to a one off South American Styled Pop-Up Dinner and leave your enticing menu to handle the persuasion. Be sure to not to announce the location just yet!

Step 4   Pre-emptive strike

Have everything in place early! Make sure you have thought about everything, glasses, cutlery, napkins, containers for dirty dishes, gas stove, BBQ, table cloth, ice for the eskys … have it all pre-organized – you only get one shot with this type of event. Once you are well prepared you can start setting the venue, dress the table, adjust the lighting and have your on the day cooking equipment ready to go.

Step 5   Follow that prep list

Have all your food preparation done early. Salad dressing made, coriander picked, lime cheeks prepped, fish fillets portioned, you name it you need it prepped. A Pop-up dinner can be exciting and a lots of fun but it does pose the proposition of difficulty when it comes to service time. By being organized you limit the room for error and leave yourself time to enjoy the evening.

Step 6   Tweet your location

The big day is here! Your venue is set, food is prepped and you just need to add the finishing touches. Send out a message to your guests with the location of the dinner and directions to get there. Once they arrive, meet and greet just as you would for any dinner party. However, expect some extra smiles and remarks at the lengths you have gone to, in order to deliver such a unique experience.

Looking for an inspiring push?

Take a look at “push start kitchen

Have you already hosted your own Pop-up dinner, got some interesting ideas or have any questions, we would love to hear your comments.

Chris Wright


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