BoxPop, a Traverse City-based custom shipping container company, says its solution for restaurants is designed to help them transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed for use by food service, craft breweries, and wine tasting rooms, BoxPop’s shipping containers are mobile and more spacious than food trucks.
“A comfortable, uncrowded experience in the clean, open air,” says Matt Egan, vice president of specialty construction for BoxPop. “Heading into summer and with physical distancing so much on people’s minds, we might one day look back at this time as a Golden Age for shipping container food and beverage service.”
The solution avoids overhead costs that come with brick and mortar restaurants, and BoxPop says its offering could offer a solution to restaurants whose traditional locations may cost too much to operate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, consumers’ habits related to going out to eat may change as consumers become more aware of social distancing.
“It’s only natural to assume that people are probably going to avoid crowds, cramped seating indoors, and breathing other people’s air,” Egan says. “A shipping container business is different because it’s all about outside flexibility, mobility, and space. You can set them up anywhere outdoors. Inside, they provide floor space for stoves, coolers, taps, and your workers. For your customers, it’s grab-and-go, or you can configure comfortable seating around your pod any way you want.”
BoxPop also offers solutions for pop-up shops, tradeshow booths, and event activations. MGM Resorts, Tropicana, and the Miami Dolphins have used BoxPop.
Egan says BoxPop is positioned to make an easier, more natural transition into the future of the restaurant industry.
“Shipping container bars and restaurants allow you to run super lean with minimal staff,” says Egan. “You’re not bound by a monthly lease and paying high rent. Wire them for electricity, running water, and propane – anything you want. You can transport them anywhere. And they’re lockdown secure. In this current climate, it’s a perfect combination.”