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We have it all: brilliant chefs, an unbelievable natural larder, breathtaking scenery, historic architecture, and a legion of legendary hosts. Can we give the dining public the thrills they’re after?

Monachyle Mhor
Dining in Mhor style, a food experience from the Mhor Collection

Make no bones about it Scottish food and drink people, today's diners are sophisticated creatures, after unique and unforgettable eating out experiences. They’re longing for food and drink memories that they can take-away, re-visit, and share for years to come. 

These experiences should make a big impression, and the buying public expect the restaurant trade and their food and drink affiliates, to use their imagination and bring the fabulous to the table. And the good news is - they’re willing to pay for it. 

And the survey says 

Seeing a healthy pop-up culture across their site, Eventbrite, the online events platform, wanted to find out some stats behind the pop-up restaurant phenomenon. Happily for the industry, 75% of the 2,000 food fans surveyed were okay with parting with more pennies for the privilege of experiencing one-of-a-kind food and drink experiences. 

To go with these one-off experiences, 83% of those interviewed were looking for non-traditional venues, with casual and relaxed atmospheres also rating highly. 

Interestingly 82% want these experiences to be intimate, not big group events. And as to who they wanted to have as their pop-up pals across the table, there was a split of fifty-fifty, between those respondents wanting to spend time with people they knew, and those happy to 'meet ‘n’ mingle' with new people. 

So inventive endeavours, offering great food to great company in great locations, are going to win the biggest slice of the pop-up pie, provided you get the message out there of course - and that’s where social media wins out. 

Innovation reaps rewards 

Using imaginative ways to engage with food and drink aficionados is a great way for the sector to grow. Chefs can increase their reach and show off their talents without big commitments. And there are a lot of ways that food and drink businesses outside the dining sector can take advantage of pop-up popularity. 

Pop-ups are great ways to promote new products or reinvent old ones. Basically they’re great over-all marketing opportunities to shine the light on anything foodie and drinkie, to a welcoming foodie and drinkie crowd. 

Scottish chefs and brands already doing the business, include Dram and Smoke, Monachyle Mhor, Section 33, and Murdo Alex Macritchie’s pop-up restaurant in Inverness. They're all delivering world-class one-of-a-kind dining out experiences. Using the best Scottish produce, choosing unique settings, they’re wowing their willing audiences and taking them happily to food and drink heaven. But there’s room for more, much more, and the benefit to the industry is big. 

Imagination doesn’t cost a thing 

With pop-ups and supper clubs being held in old tube trains, warehouses and factories, rooftops, and in homes big and small, the way to a diner’s heart is through creative thinking. 

Give them a unique menu, a theme, a memorable locale, and generally enthrall their senses, and you’ll find a community of customers ready to follow you.  

And for the chefs involved, they can increase reach and show talents, without big commitments. 

For pop-ups provide: 

  • A testing ground and an industry entry point for young chefs 
  • A place for chefs to take risks with concepts and ideas 
  • A brilliant way to test the market for new ventures 
  • A chance to impress potential investors in a future bricks and mortar operation  
  • A way to reinvent product and offering and re-engage customers 

So with the world of Scotland as your oyster, with our mountains and glens, our beaches and lochs, our castles and cities, let’s give diners the rich dining experiences they’re after. 

Let visitors to Scotland expect the unexpected from the Land of Food & Drink, and let our food and drink industry shine bright and deliver the fabulous. 

Get in on the experience economy 

Trends are showing that consumers want to spend their money on experiences rather than material things. There is potential here for the promotion of Scottish produce and traditional dishes, and for Scottish chefs to experiment with cooking styles.  

If you’re interested in the new trends in the eating out sector and want to explore ways to connect your business to them, our Make Innovation Happen service is a good place to start. 

Our innovation connectors, Paul Copland, Rachel Mirfattahi, and Caroline MacLellan, have extensive industry knowledge and can help you on your innovation journey, with products, processes, or employee development. 

Connect for success today