Pop up restaurants, sometimes referred to as supper clubs, are temporary restaurants and are subject to pop up restaurant laws.
Pop up restaurants often operate from a private place like a home or a yard, former factory or similar space, and during festivals.
Pop-up restaurants, like food trucks, are a great way for young professionals to hone skills gain exposure of their skills as well as develop their characters in working with people.
However, many such ideas may be subject to legal liability, thus reading up on the pop up restaurant laws will be of great help to any young aspiring restaurateur, chef or not.
Here is critical information that will help your business not end before it has even left the ground.
1. Get a Business License
Does your city or state require businesses to have a license to operate?
If so, there’s a solid chance that those criteria apply to your pop-up restaurant too, regardless of whether you’re in business for 5 days or 500 days.
Understanding pop up restaurant laws is definitely major if you want to operate safely and effectively
Depending on what you sell, you might require special licenses (especially if you’re selling food or alcohol).
Pop up restaurants are not an exception from licensing limitations, so be sure to check your local pop up restaurant laws and regulations for licensing challenges.
2. Are Pop Up Restaurants Legal?
Real underground pop up restaurants mainly don’t concern with licenses or insurance.
If you want to promote and advertise your pop up restaurant and use it as a foundation for a future proper restaurant, make sure yours is legitimate by making sure your restaurant is in compliance with pop up restaurant laws.
Investigate with your local town or state authorities about what types of temporary licenses and permits (like catering) you’ll need before you open.
3. Don’t Overlook Safety for Your Pop Up
Endangering human life inside your business would bring a lot of negative publicity, which would probably make pop up restaurant laws not be the last thing you would worry about.
First and foremost, you pop up location should be safe for patrons and safe to serve food.
Food needs to be kept in the safe temperature zones for hot and cold, to avoid any possible food poisoning.
If electricity and running water aren’t readily available, you need to make sure you have access to both for extended periods of time.
Even if you are just operating for a few hours, you should still ensure you have the right insurance, such as public liability insurance and plate glass insurance.
You should check with your insurance broker as to what is the best insurance for your type of business and to protect yourself from being in violation with any pop up restaurant laws.
However, this depends on the type of business you are planning on operating and the area.
The owner of the area may also require you to take out insurance on the area itself, although in most cases, this owner covers this and includes the cost in the rent.
5. Consider Incorporation
While a pop-up restaurant may be temporary, your business can last many years. It may pop-up every year, every few years, or even twice a year.
If you intend for your business to continue even after you close the pop-up shop, you may want to consider incorporating your business.
Incorporating can be a hassle but it can also protect your personal property from your business debts and protect your business from your personal debts.
You would hate bringing your personal property into question bringing into question the validity of your business in terms of pop up restaurant laws.
6. Get an Attorney to cope with Pop Up Restaurant Laws
After reading over these requirements, you may start to think that even a pop-up restaurant is too much of a hassle.
Don’t be so demotivated.
You can hire an experienced business attorney who will be able to help you address all of the issues regarding pop up restaurant laws.
Let your attorney handle the legal stuff while you focus on running your business.
7. Don’t cook your books
Like every other business, the money you make in a pop-up restaurant is subject to tax.
So make sure you keep accurate books that list your outgoings and your takings from every venture, no matter how small.
Every dollar counts, so ensure you talk to a good accountant who is familiar with not only the challenges of the catering industry, but also how pop-up businesses work too.