How to Start a Home Food Pop-up
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If you are passionate about cooking and want to monetize your skills by hosting people to your food, think no more and start a food pop-up.
The concept of food pop-ups is simple. It’s a form of social dining where you invite 5-8 unknown people to your home to give them a taste of your culture. You do this by serving them an authentic regional multi-course meal. So, all that you have to do is put together a menu of the various food items or dishes that are unique to your culture and start cooking.
How to Get Started
To begin with, you don’t even have to give up your job to start a food pop-up because home pop-ups typically attract diners during weekends when people are free to eat out. Of course, once your food gets famous and you start hosting pop-ups outdoors, you can do it full-time.
So, for an easy start, we suggest that you enlist on the websites of platforms like ‘Authenticook’ and ‘Eat With India’ that connect people looking for local food experiences to those who host pop-ups.
These platforms will handle marketing and payments for you and there is absolutely no charge for operating on them. They charge diners by marking up the price of meals but don’t cut any commission from the hosts.
The pricing decision of your meals will also rest with you. In fact, an executive will help you to determine the right price for your meal on the basis of the previous demand and feedback received from guests for similar meal experiences.
Another upside of tying up with such platforms is that they give an option of hosting cooking classes and the platforms keep organizing pop-ups events in embassies, hotels etc. All such options will not only give you a chance to showcase your culinary skills to a larger audience but also make more money.
In starting a pop-up you won’t feel the pinch of initial investment at all because costs are minimal. You only have to shell out one time cost of INR 8,000-10,000 on cutlery, decoration and other things required for cooking and you are good to go.
Your recurring expense will comprise of groceries and an assistant for cleaning, which will cost INR 400-500 per head.
What You Stand to Earn
To put together earning potential, you should first understand the pricing of pop-up meals, which are just as expensive as fine dine restaurants. A standard vegetarian meal with 5-6 items is priced above INR 1,200, while a lighter meal with snacks is for INR 550-600. Non-vegetarian options are priced higher by INR 150-500. All these figures do not include the mark-up fee charged by platforms so these prices are essentially what you will earn.
Besides serving meals, you can also host cooking lessons, which are priced between INR 2,000-4,000 per head. So to give you a ballpark figure, if you are able to host 30 people in a month and give two cooking classes, you will easily earn INR 27,000-32,000 per month. And this is after removing all the costs and fees incurred by you. Of course, your earning will vary as per the city you are located in. Hosts in cosmopolitan metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore stand to get more visitors compared to smaller cities.
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