This is a perfect, tech-savvy move by Souvla to introduce New Yorkers to its much-loved menu offerings. I'll always have that hometown San Francisco pride, but I'm pulling for a proper NYC location of my favorite fast-casual spot.
— Kristen Hawley
San Francisco-based fast-casual champion Souvla is popping up in New York this week with lunch and dinner service on Thursday and Friday. Founder and CEO Charles Bililies brought 10 staff members to New York to cook the entire menu, delivered exclusively by Caviar.
“We love NYC,” Bililies told Skift Table. “We’ve always envisioned having Souvla here someday down the line. We felt that this was a great way for us to introduce ourselves to the city. It was our strong relationship with Caviar that took this from our crazy idea to a reality. Utilizing their proven platform, which we work with at all our restaurants on a daily basis, makes the transition fairly seamless from a tech standpoint.”
Pop-up restaurants have long been a way to create buzz and gauge demand for a new restaurant (or new location of an existing spot), but this delivery-only partnership underscores the ways in which technology has completely changed pop-up restaurant operations. Instead of needing to secure a space, permits, furniture, and all of the other elements that go into creating a physical restaurant, the delivery-only approach eliminates much of the red tape, allowing staff to cook and deliver their food. In this case, it doesn’t hurt that Souvla runs a healthy delivery business with Caviar in San Francisco, and the restaurant’s dishes are prepared to travel well.
Plus, there’s the associated digital and social media marketing buzz: TechTable co-founder Maureen Cushing announced the pop-up to an eager crowd at this year’s TechTable Summit, but it’s Souvla’s well-followed Instagram and Twitter accounts that pushed the announcement far and wide. “Tag your NY-based friends so they know!” the post reads. “Instagram is always our preferred way of getting the word out,” added Bililies.
This post originally appeared in the October 18, 2017 Skift Table newsletter. Subscribe to get the latest in your inbox.