Back in December, I posted about a pizza shop that was sharing space with a breakfast joint. That was largely a move made out of necessity. In a tough economy, it was easier to share space that set up a new shop. Now we have a story from Los Angeles of LudoBites, a pop-up restaurant that makes a virtue of using another restaurant’s facilities.
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To date, LudoBites has been very successful (LudoBites 5.0, Pop-Up Dining in Los Angeles, Aug 4, New York Times):
The LudoBites show has been running on and off for three years, in spaces as diverse as the Breadbar, a bakery in the shadow of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; the Royal/T art space and cafe in Culver City; and a bright red truck serving fried chicken at the Los Angeles Street Food Festival, in February. LudoBites 4.0 was at Gram & Papa’s from April through May. Every night was sold out.
The same is true for LudoBites 5.0. More than 3,000 people tried to secure reservations within the first five minutes of the first day they were available at the Lefebvres’ Web site, ludobites.com, crashing the system. A subsequent run on another reservations site likewise slowed the process to a crawl.
As I wrote earlier, this is really a question of how you want to manage hours of operations. There are many reasons why a firm might opt for relatively limited hours, such as a restaurant offering only breakfast and lunch. But if fixed assets or rent are expensive, there should be opportunities to expand the business and spread that overhead. If anything, the LudoBites approach works even better than the pizza place moving in with the breakfast diner. In that setting, there is inherent confusion about what the place is and what you can order at lunch. LudoBites aims higher (in a culinary sense) and plans on being transitory. That generates buzz and gets heavy use out of the rented space. It also allows for a clean delineation between the firms. However, it is the same logic underlying the operations: Utilizing the available resources.