Restaurant’s opening day is an ideal information guide in any facility’s life. It is one of the truly effective ways to make yourself known in the media space, get the first visitors and turn them into their agents of influence. However, to use the full potential of the event, you need a clear plan of action. Follow our recommendations below to learn how to prepare for the official opening of the restaurant and get the most out of this event.
Plan the official opening day in advance
Do not hesitate to think that you will be able to prepare for the opening day of the restaurant in one day or week. You should start in advance, at least 1-2 months in advance. And without a crystal clear, thought-out plan, it is better not to start any actions. Thanks to the planning of the opening in advance, you will be able to focus more on the process and get a spare time to come up with unique ideas for the presentation of your restaurant. And when this solemn day comes, you will just sit back and enjoy how well organized everything is.
Here are some aspects that need to be taken into account when preparing the official opening:
The opening date of the restaurant.
Before choosing a date, make inquiries about other events in institutions around and in general in the city (country, world, universe). In order to avoid force majeure, ask if there are plans to hold a landmark soccer match or other sporting event, to which the eyes will be chained. It is extremely undesirable to find yourself in a situation of fierce competition for clients on your first day of work. As a preventive measure, you can create a chain of events, working in a test mode, which will crown the grand opening of the restaurant.
The time interval.
How long will your event last? How long will it take to load the kitchen? How many breakfasts, lunches, dishes for dinner, glasses of wine will it take?
Allow yourself enough time to find and train the staff who will work on the opening day of the restaurant. Probably, it will be superfluous to mention the first impression of the restaurant that visitors will get and the role of the level of service in forming the overall picture.
To begin with, decide whether you need the entertainment part at the opening in principle. And if so, then try to determine what best suits your restaurant, will be able to harmoniously fit into its concept and emphasize the advantages of the brand. Once you have decided on the format, proceed to booking dates with the performers – animators, presenters, DJs, musicians, stand-up comics, etc.
To avoid overspending, plan the budget part and stick to it strictly. As a rule, on the opening day at a restaurant, it takes up to 20% of the total marketing budget for the first year of work.
Type of service.
What is the menu? Will you offer guests a full menu or only selected items? Tasting portions or can it be a buffet?
Carry out a technical opening of the restaurant.
Before the official opening of the restaurant, conduct a technical opening of the restaurant in a test format for a narrow circle of people. It is necessary to check the coherence of the staff and the ability of the establishment to withstand the load at full landing. The technical opening will also allow you to see how your sense of the restaurant’s concept and atmosphere is reflected in the hearts of its guests.
It will give you a good opportunity to see and eliminate mistakes before the restaurant opens its doors to a wide audience.
As part of the test opening, you can hold various events aimed at specific groups of visitors:
Friends and family. An event for the closest people who are aware that they are participating in the Test Opening and have agreed not to share details publicly.
Suppliers. A great way to thank all those who helped you launch the restaurant and give them the opportunity to see the fruit of your work together.
Business owners in the neighborhood. People working next door to a restaurant can be your best customers if you can get in touch with them and give them a break from their grey routine.
Influencers. Organize an event for influencers – celebrity, authoritative restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers – so that by the time the restaurant officially opens, the sundered radio can reach as many people as possible.
After the event, do not forget to collect feedback.
Make a decent interval between the test and official openings to have enough time to process the menu, improve the quality of service, make adjustments to the interior and exterior of the restaurant. It is not recommended to make too long an interval, because languishing while waiting for the audience may lose interest in your restaurant.