Guest blog: Scratch Series pop-up restaurant

food1 “You can get a hard-on doing fancy stuff for hours in the kitchen and people won’t notice. We want to create a menu that pleases guests, not just us”.

Welcome to the Scratch series blog. We’re lifting the bonnet on the world of food and business so you can experience more than their tasty nosh. For the duration of its life span, a brisk four months, we’ll be bringing you the inside dope on some of the lesser known realities of running a kitchen, being the waiter, chef and accountant, and exposing yourself to the full-contact sport of entrepreneurship. Ouch.

To start: upholster 24 chairs in 1.5 hours, plumb a sink (twice) and paint (really badly) the dining-room cornices. There must be some overlap with culinary and DIY handiwork and with a moving in date four days before doors open you need to be a wrench hero as well as nifty with a spatula. It also helps to have a mum who can make curtains and neighbours who sell discount crockery. And full credit to the owner of Iglu (Charlie Cornelius) in giving up the space: “He’s a top guy and wants to see us succeed too”. Right on Charlie.

Outside opening hours costs are kept low with a disregard for any heating options. It’s mid-December with gale-driven sleet slashing against the single-pane windows. I’m in goosebumps and a bomber jacket. Dave and Ben are in t-shirts (Scottish blood): “It’s not any warmer inside, just less windy”, said through a fog of steamy breath. But fear not, it’s toasty for when guests arrive!

Stage set and with an investment of less than £2,000 total it’s in keeping with a minimum viable product mindset. Keep it simple, sell it and iterate. Game on. Discussing last weeks stressful first nights favourite memories include a tearful response to some local heather honeycomb, served straight from the frame: “It reminded her of her father”. Moving beyond the taste value of food is where their eyes light up and talk of re-connecting to producers and farmers, as well as to their motherland after years of travelling gets the knife blades chopping a beat faster.

A flag has been planted, Scratch Series has landed. Stay tuned for more tales coming next week!

For bookings and info see here: www.thescratchseries.com

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