Bringing Crowds To A Grand Opening Restaurant

By: KEXY Team
January 22, 2024
News And Tips

You’ve got both the food and the concept of your new restaurant down to the last detail. Your new restaurant concept is perfectly developed, with the best staff around and everything in place for the grand opening. All that stands in the way of your concept becoming as successful as you know it can be is a killer grand opening. The grand opening of a restaurant might seem like nothing more than a fun-filled party to some, but for others, it can mean the difference between early success and failure.

You have a lot to consider when putting together your big restaurant opening event, from which days and times are best to make sure your restaurant points of sale are ready in time. There are a variety of details that go into launching a restaurant, but the bottom line is that it’s critical to stand out from the competition and get a lot of attention.

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Check out these restaurant grand opening ideas to make sure your business gets off on the right foot.

1. Launch a Soft Opening of your Restaurant First

A soft opening filled with the friends and family you love is a great way to ease nerves and eliminate any kinks before the big grand opening day. A little practice run before the grand opening of your restaurant will not only get you comfortable with the concept but will also allow you to get honest feedback about what is and is not working from the people closest to you and your idea who are truly committed to your success.

Don’t worry about all the decorations and fancy things that will be present during the soft opening. You should instead pay attention to the food, service, and overall experience, and ask your guests many questions about what they liked and what they thought could be improved. Afterwards, you could send out a survey through Google so everyone can offer their feedback anonymously, which tends to yield better results.

2. Collaborate With a Charity

Opening Restaurant

Incorporating a charitable component into your grand opening celebrations will not only attract people who enjoy spending their money for good causes, but it will help you to build relationships within the community as well. Chron suggests choosing an organization that has meaning to your business or to your personal life and making that story a part of your marketing materials. The outcome will be a positive reputation among supporters of your cause. After all, who doesn’t like to support local businesses that support charitable causes?

3. Give Out Freebies

The simple truth is that people love free things. There is nothing wrong with giving people something for free—even if it’s a gift they can’t expect just anyone to get—especially if it’s something they can’t get anywhere else—if it makes them feel special and allows them to associate your brand and restaurant positively. Additionally, they’ll always be reminded of your restaurant whenever they put your shades on, as well as how hungry they may be at that moment for your food.

4. Participate in Multiple Events

The celebration of a grand opening should be followed by multiple events in order to generate buzz. Invite friends and family to a friends-and-family event to show your appreciation for all the hard work your staff has put forward. Additionally, you may want to consider hosting a private reception for local journalists and business owners, for example, where you give them a tour of your facility and give them a menu card. The event can even come under the heading of soft-launching your restaurant.

When you have a few smaller events you do not have to worry about covering it all at once and you can cater the smaller ones to the particular crowd you’re hosting and give them an extra special experience.

5. Include Influencers In Your Event

how to Opening Restaurant

There are many different types of influencers. Social media influencers in your local and regional area should, of course, be invited to your grand opening. When the doors of your new establishment are officially open, only one Tweet or Instagram post from them can influence hundreds of people to make their way there.

There’s also an alternative, more analog approach you could use. Restaurant marketing blog Sold Out Tonight recommends inviting people such as local politicians, local school principals, police chiefs, and fire chiefs. These people are often active networkers and can help spread good word of mouth.” They suggest inviting groups that are related to the cuisine you serve, such as sending invitations to local Italian clubs if your restaurant serves pasta.

6. Participate in the Community

Making sure that your restaurant grand opening has a successful turnout will involve participating in community events leading up to the opening, especially local events surrounding your new restaurant. This will not only give you plenty of opportunities to spread the word about your event to the community, but it will also set the stage for a positive relationship between your business and your community. As soon as the time comes for your business to open, they’ll be the ones who want to give you support.

7. Social Media is Important

There’s no denying it one of the main ways that people discover new restaurants today is through online sources in general, as well as through social media specifically. To draw attention, you obviously need to put in facetime with people, but you also cannot ignore the social media sphere. Creating an Instagram account, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are all things you need to do. To grow a following, you need just one or two posts a day. As soon as your grand opening day arrives, you’ll have a loyal following who won’t miss it for the world.

Worried about getting on social media? Relax. There are several easy social media tips and tricks you can use to maximize your success. If you follow them, you’ll be doing everything you should be… and maybe even a little more.

8. Make Sure You Stick To Your Budget

Should You Spend This Much?

A minimum of $6,000 should be budgeted for your grand opening in the first year, according to Fit Small Business. The reason $6,000 seems so small is that it is on the conservative side of things, but for good reason. Having a big blowout party that everyone eventually forgets because you couldn’t follow it up with enough advertising dollars is a waste of both your marketing budget and your advertising dollars for the remainder of the year.

Invitations and Advertising are Essential For Grand Openings

Opening Restaurant

It’s the last thing you want to do if you spend tons of money on a grand opening party and no one shows up. A large part of your grand opening budget will go to advertising for the big event in addition to sending out invitations (everyone enjoys feeling special). The variety of advertising options you can choose from includes sidewalk boards, banners, and signs, as well as social media advertising and possibly a small newspaper spread. Television and radio advertising is expensive, but social media and flyers can help you promote your business at a low cost. In order to get your future customers to plan on visiting you, you need to launch your advertising as early as possible.

Items for a Party

As soon as you’ve got a list for your grand opening, the remainder of your budget will go towards your party, so this isn’t where you want to cut corners. Chron explains that “the food served at your grand opening needs to accurately reflect the quality of food you will serve in the future, and therefore will require a greater share of your budget” than other types of grand openings of businesses that can get away with just a few coffees and pastries.

Giveaways For Free

The grand opening budget should also cover prizes and giveaways. After all, no party is complete without decorations (is it ever a party without them?)? You’ll need to cover the two-person dinner cost in your budget if you plan to provide a dinner for two at your restaurant.

There are a lot of things to consider, but they aren’t as complicated or as intimidating as they might seem. By following these tips you can start your new restaurant’s business off with a flawless, well-financed grand opening.

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