Four times a year Restaurant Day occurs around the world, where anybody can create a pop-up restaurant for a day. In Copenhagen usually 30 or so teams participate, resulting in a plethora of interesting food options for the day which you can find via a handy app.
In March of 2013, my Australian design friend Carli, her husband Wouter and I toured the booths of Restaurant Day Copenhagen. We drank koldskål on Queen Louises Bridge, tried champagne sorbet in a Nørrebro courtyard, and had a 3-course meal on the street near St. Hans Square accompanied by a Cuban band.
We had a fantastic time and vowed to participate with our own booth at the next Restaurant Day. Our contribution would be…A LEMONADE STAND.
The Lemon Rocket Video
Like any over-eager adult purveyors of handcrafted lemonade, we made a short video promoting our Lemonade Stand. If you’ve ever wondered how lemonade was made, this video reveals all. Thanks to the team at Jip Jip for animation and Matthew Matthew for the music clip.
Carli and I perfected our homemade lemonade syrups to taste just so. We even employed the help of a small team of taste testers from Holland (Wouter & Family) to give us feedback on our initial recipes.
Each flavor was sold for 20kr (about $3.50) with an special upgrade to a “Grandpa’s Lemonade” (hint: add gin) for 40kr. We also shared the recipes with visitors so they could make their own homemade lemonade.
Lemon & Lavender
– in a saucepan: 1 part sugar + 1 part water + 1 tablespoon lavender
– simmer 5 mins and then cool
– juice 2 lemons
– drain lavender bits out, add lemon to make syrup
– mix syrup (approx a shot glass, or to taste) with a cup of bubbly water, lemon slice and ice
Cucumber & Mint
– two cucumbers: peel + chop + blend
– drain juice
– in a saucepan: 1 part sugar + 1 part water + bunch of mint
– simmer 5 min. remove mint. cool. add cucumber juice to make syrup.
– mix syrup (approx a shot glass, or to taste) with a cup of bubbly water, lemon slice and ice (garnish with mint)
Strawberry & Basil
– in a saucepan: 1 part sugar + 1 part water + bunch of basil
– simmer 5 mins and then cool
– blend 100 grams strawberries with some fresh basil
– mix liquid with strawberries to make syrup
– mix syrup (approx a shot glass, or to taste) with a cup of bubbly water, lemon slice and ice (garnish with basic and strawberry slice)
Spreading the Word
Of course we made a Facebook event to attract customers and posted vigorously about our preparations and product offerings. At one point, an attendee commented “I get the point, I’m COMING to your Lemonade Stand!”. YAY!
We were as excited as two kids on the first day of school, and the day of reckoning was drawing nearer.
Our Lemonade Stand
Carli and I spent hours hand painting directional lemon signage and making Pantone perfect bunting to decorate our tent. We had everything planned to a T…except the weather. Be warned future lemonade stand entrepreneurs! If there is anything that will foil your plans on a successful business model it will be BAD WEATHER.
On the day of the big event it was windy and rainy and not at all conducive to selling lemonade. A follow up project to this one could be writing the guide “How to Sell Lemonade in Inclement Weather” with the following chapter outline:
2. Weather to Attendance Ratios
3. Upping Sales with Alcohol Add-Ons
4. Wind Resistant Tent Solutions
5. Frostbite Avoidance & Ice Cube Handling
6. What to do when Drunk People Request Freebies, and When Denied, Pee in the Bushes Nearby
7. If You Survive
But, our main goal was to have fun, which we accomplished in spades. We surprised customers with our unorthodox lemonade flavors, we visited with the local Jehovah Witnesses who took shelter from the rain under our stand, and we had enough leftovers to give private lemonade tastings to friends, family and co-workers.
Next up: Restaurant Day Fall 2013 (if I can convince Carli to repeat the madness…)