Organizing a grand formal inauguration brings your restaurant or bar to the attention of local news and the media, generating advertising, igniting curiosity and enhancing the concept of your restaurant in the mind of potential customers. The advertising you receive goes beyond the date or dates of your special opening offers: the guests you invite will feel privileged to be included, and the people who like your culinary profile will make plans to visit you in the near future, even if they won’t participate in the opening. Satisfied customers will come back.
Great Promotional Ideas
Promotional ideas for your inauguration could include special decorations, tasting dishes, incentives to come back, live entertainment and collaboration with other local merchants or city festivals. If you are in an artistic area, you could invite local artists and photographers to show their work. If there is a local festival, you can set up an outdoor stand to offer some of the items on your menu. You can also collaborate with a local charity during your grand opening and donate part of the proceeds. You can distribute tastings in front of your restaurant to entice customers. Outdoor signs, digital signs and banners can also generate a lot of advertising.
Regardless of your promotional strategy, remember that food and service should be your most important considerations. Instagram offers a free app to add photos and videos to your website and social media pages. Take lots of photos during the grand opening to use in multiple promotional campaigns and encourage customers to share their photos and comments.
Market your Grand Opening Event
Large openings require a good deal of marketing, even if it is done simply. You could target nearby people with flyers or direct mail, but if your restaurant has an attraction, we recommend that you introduce yourself to a wider audience in the city or beyond. Joining local business groups – such as the local Chamber of Commerce, Business Networking International , Rotary club and entrepreneur organizations – can help your restaurant build strategic relationships with potential customers through networking.
Plan an Opening Time
It is important to organize the opening so that it fits your concept and your targeted audience. You can safely open before your inauguration event to solve the operational nodes that affect each restaurant. During this period, it is possible to organize private wine and food tasting events, distribute tastings from the menu, publish the menu online and distribute flyers in the nearest stores. Your calendar may include these pre-launch activities:
Invite friends to a very preliminary and informal tasting in the kitchen.
Search for local influencers, social media platforms used by targeted audiences and working groups in the area.
Create your website and link it to authoritative and respected sites.
Design your logo, choose the colors of the company and design any graphics you intend to use.
Design professional print kits with sample menus, culinary information, chef biographies and other details.
Choose an opening date that allows you to obtain all the necessary permits, finish the construction and make a small pre-opening.