Innovation and enterprise blog

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28 September 2016

How Grub Club became a successful business in the pop-up market

We asked Siddarth Vijayakumar, co-founder of Grub Club, some of our burning questions ahead of his appearance at the British Library next month. Together with his food obsessed friend, Sid co-founded one of the best pop-ups and supper clubs in London. Here’s how he did it.

Sid

What were you doing before you started Grub Club and what drove you to start your own business?

I was working in online advertising prior to starting Grub Club. I set up an online ad network for PHD, a relatively large media agency in London and, on the back of its, success the parent company, Omnicom, asked me to set it up for the whole network. However the idea for Grub Club had been burning inside me since 2006 when I made a trip to Zanzibar and was inspired by a restaurant called Two Tables which was just that - two tables in someone’s home! I loved the idea that someone can make money from their passion and set up a restaurant anywhere.

What steps did you take to get it started?

I started working on the idea in 2012 when I met my co-founder Liv. To start with we did a lot of research on the market to see if there was a clear opportunity here. Thankfully in 2012 the pop-up market was growing and so we were able to get a lot of advice and help from chefs and diners.

What obstacles, if any, have you faced along the way?

From the outset, people started to tell me it was a bad idea and that I wouldn’t be able to get the necessary funding. No matter what your size, I think there are constant obstacles along the way. It’s important to persevere and never forget the reason why you set it up in the first place.

If you had one piece of advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business – what would it be?

It goes without saying that you need to choose an idea that you are really passionate about as this will keep you going through the inevitable rough points. At the same time it’s very important to think about what you want out of your life, whether it is money or a certain type of lifestyle perhaps and ask yourself whether that idea can sustain those goals.

 

Take your chance to put your questions to Sid and the panel at ‘Inspiring Entrepreneurs Marketing Maestros’ taking place on 18 October 2016 at the British Library. Get your ticket here.

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