Tapping into mobile consumers' desire for gourmet food on the go, London's Leicester Square Underground station hosted a pop-up restaurant serving Indian-inspired street food earlier this month.
Described as the first pop-up restaurant to open in a West End tube station, Pilau served wraps filled with butter chicken, lamb and marrow and spiced paneer (cheese). While the restaurant predominantly served takeaway customers, there was also a small seating area and a foosball table. The pop-up has now closed, but will open in another location (yet to be announced) later this year.
"Our food is wonderfully designed for those on the move and we knew there were fantastic opportunities to be had in those spaces [on the London Underground]," said Pilau co-founder Ollie Norman. "Not to mention being able to offer a welcome change from the run down of newsagents and key-cutting shops that have traditionally occupied [these stations]."
Food brands are increasingly establishing outposts in transport hubs in order to target commuters. London's Old Street Underground station hosts a rotating list of food and retail pop-ups, while New York's Columbus Circle subway is set to open a 30,000 sq ft shopping centre later this year. For more on this, see Mobile Food.
For further insight into retail concepts that target the on-the-go lifestyle, see Commuter Commerce.