Guest Blog; Margate pop up becomes permanent

Today’s ‘Bow’s Kitchen Restaurant’ had humble beginnings.

My wife and I started our business as a home-based catering company, providing Thai food for dinner parties.

Although we always aspired to having our own restaurant, the finance was not available.

On my travels I noticed that there were bars and pubs with under-used catering facilities. I had the idea of using a pop up format to promote regular one-night-only restaurants. This would give us the opportunity to cultivate our brand-identity without a huge outlay.

I approached the landlords and explained the benefits of the pop up concept: using their facilities, we would provide the menu, the advertising and the food for the evening. Everything would be freshly prepared and served in situ. In return, they would see increased drink sales and attract customers that might not otherwise have visited. It was quite an easy sell.

I utilised social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote the events. When used correctly, they are incredible tools, and have proved invaluable in generating interest in our events. But, be warned: ill-conceived messages will spread just as quickly.

After we had toured for several months, one of the landlords, having seen his sales increase each time we had hosted an evening, invited us to take up permanent residence in his otherwise unused first-floor restaurant.

We have now been there for six months.

The most important thing that we have learnt is that the pop up format is not an excuse to provide second-rate services. It should be used to demonstrate how professional you can be.

For us, this means using the highest quality, free-range and, wherever possible, locally-sourced ingredients in all the food we produce. Our efforts in this respect were validated earlier this year when we received an award for culinary excellence.

Although Bow’s Kitchen has now put down some roots, we have not turned our back on the pop up concept and still host several monthly Thai evenings at other locations.

Bow’s Kitchen, Thai Restaurant, can be found above the Wig & Pen pub in the heart of Margate’s Old Town.

Tim and his wife run Bow’s Kitchen, which has an award-winning menu based on authentic Thai cuisine. In addition, and in keeping with their pop-up heritage, they also produce  special, globally-influenced themed pop ups for private functions. Bow’s Kitchen can now be found upstairs at The Wig & Pen, 10 Market Place Margate.

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