It’s not all about the brick and mortar these days, but what exactly is a “pop-up” micro station? These easy-to-replace, rotating serving stations are comprised of little more than a hot bar with a featured cuisine, branding for each concept and staff members to serve the food. It is a great way to breathe new life into your daily operation and entice new customers while bringing a little excitement to your regulars. It is also a good opportunity to see how adventurous your guests will go when it comes to their palate.
Pop-up stations are being featured in healthcare facilities looking to debut new concepts that appeal to a range of consumer preferences. Concepts that have seen success include a barbecue station featuring soul food favorites and a sustainable seafood stand complete with grab-and-go options like fish tacos and crab cake sandwiches. Pop-ups are also becoming more popular for senior living facilities, as today’s seniors cite menu fatigue as one of their major concerns. One senior living community group now features pop-up restaurants that change from month-to-month, with options ranging from steak to Italian fare.
Consider your demographic to determine which pop-up concepts might be best for your operation. You need not serve more than one or two dishes at these locations. For example, if you live in an area where there is high demand for authentic Cuban cuisine, create a pop-up location where Cubanos, or Cuban-style sandwiches, are served.
Test out the popularity of different cuisines with pop-up stations or tasting events before introducing them in your dining room or on your in-room dinner menus. Using pop-up stations or holding tasting events is a great way to chart the success of a dish for your seniors before featuring it in larger locations.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.