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The Associated Press reports that "pop-up restaurants, many started as stopgap measures by struggling chefs and owners, may have staying power as consumers continue to embrace takeout and delivery and the delta variant threatens to make dining in less of an option.

"Pop-up restaurants can take a variety of forms, from a ramen maker appearing for one-night only at an established bar or restaurant, to a taco maker using an unused space to temporarily host diners, to a chef offering meatballs for delivery only.

"Cheaper to operate than regular restaurants because they have less overhead and staffing costs, pop-ups let chefs and owners keep working and making a living during the early part of the pandemic when dining rooms were closed and the economy was teetering. They’ve helped bring buzz to existing restaurants that host them. And some have even morphed into permanent new businesses."

KC's View:

Food retailers looking to differentiate themselves ought to be taking advantage of this trend, offering space and resources to restaurant start-ups that can bring some excitement and innovation to their stores.  If I were a retailer looking to establish greater food credibility and generate some enthusiasm, I'd develop a program of rotating restaurant pop-ups - every two or three months, I'd bring in a new concept, give them a stage on which to perform, and use it as a way to test new cuisines and push the envelope a little.