Conducting a grand opening for your restaurant may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of some of these seriously rad grand opening ideas, you can set a precedent for the future success of your restaurant.

  1. Friends and family are the best test subjects

    Be sure to invite your friends and family to a mini-grand opening before your actual grand opening. There’s no better support than family support; plus you know you’ll get constructive criticism to tweak minor things being the big day. Feedback is priceless when it comes to starting a new venture and who better to give give you frank advice and feedback on your operations and your food, (without a filter) than your family!

  2. Host an Event

    Double your grand opening event and also host a fundraising event in support of a local charity. Not only will you get to experience working a busy event, but you’ll get the reach of the charity’s members and affiliates. Word of mouth in the restaurant industry is priceless and the more bodies you get to your grand opening = the bigger the social media presence! Food brings people together and hosting an event will attract more people. Your grand opening should be making a lasting impression on all of new and returning customers! But be cautious of the tasks you take on … hosting an event AND running day-to-day tasks is no easy feat. Which leads to our next point…

  3. Prepare for the big day… in advance

    Preparing for a grand opening is a combination of tons of things. Making sure that people are actually aware of the event; making sure you have a big enough sales vs profit margin to fund any extra costs (like a media event); and making sure that you have reliable, experience, and well trained staff to manage and work the restaurant floor.

    Your team of employees can make or break a diner’s experience. If you run into hiccups in the kitchen but your serving staff are accommodating  and guest love them, then its likely that they’ll come back!

    Proper planning is absolutely crucial.Aside from any sort of practical preparation needed (staff, supplies, etc.), use a few of the countless marketing strategies out there to get the word out that you’re having an event. Connect with other small businesses and restaurants in order to create good relationships in your community and to build support.

  4. Free of charge?

    Offer your first 50 guests a complimentary dessert or appy. This, appeals to those who 1) like to try to things, 2) has a sweet or savory tooth, and 3) likes free things. Your grand opening is home to first impressions, and you can never go wrong offering a complimentary treat. Again, traffic to your restaurant, whether its attention on social media channels or actual visitors to your business, is priceless. It’s the first step in building a customer-business relationship. Once you’ve established that you value their business, footing the bill for their dessert on their first visit will hopefully leave a lasting impression.

Some Things to Take Away

Hosting a grand opening is essential to building your restaurant’s reputation and attracting customers. The execution of your grand opening can really set a precedent for the reputation of your restaurant, and if you keep the above in mind, with careful planning, clever marketing, amazing deals, and some support- success will ensue!