Your new restaurant is going to FAIL! If, you don’t have a strategy for a great opening day. Restaurant businesses already have a high failure rate, with over 75% of all restaurant businesses failing within the first 4 years of commencing operations. Don’t be among one of those restaurants and break the competition with a great first impression. After all, first impressions are last impressions. Unless of course, you rebrand your restaurant which, takes a lot of effort. With this piece, we’re going to look at restaurant grand opening ideas that will help you secure a great crowd and increase your footfall.
So, if you’re planning for the first day, you might have already decided on the type of restaurant you are going to be, the theme, concepts, and everything.. right? If not, look at some High-profit food business ideas and food business ideas with low investment to help you get started. Oh, and don’t forget if you’re implementing a restaurant idea in India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has mandated that you obtain statutory licenses like FSSAI License and other compliances. Take a look at the full Checklist for starting a food business in India to know more.
Anyway, enough with the advertising already! Let’s look at how you can blow customers minds with a fantastic first day at the office.
There are a lot of considerations to be made while prepping for the big day of your restaurant grand opening. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to go through with this day. Worry not!. Let’s go step-by-step and help you take the restaurant to great heights. Every little detail matters, the day you’re hosting, the time of the day, the time of the year and what customers are looking for in your area. But the bottom line remains: You have to give out your best on your first day to ensure a few “frequent flyers” at your restaurant.
Restaurant Grand Opening Ideas
The best way to do away with opening day jitters is to have it not actually be your first opening day. Open up the restaurant to a few close friends, colleagues, and family behind closed doors. This kind of a practice opening day is called a soft opening. You can say its analogous to net practice for batting in cricket! Make a request, or rather insist about honest and judgment-free reviews of how well you’re able to handle and manage the restaurant’s needs and demands, what is working and what is not. Its because the people who you perform a soft opening for want to see you succeed, you will get amazing valuable feedback which will help you run the BIG DAY better.
In the soft opening, there is no need to worry about fancy decorations and posh facilities. Instead, focus on what drives the restaurant the most, the overall experience, the food delivery and what items on the menu are the most delicious, make it as “light and breezy” if you will. If people are hesitant, to be honest face to face, send out online surveys with the most burning questions about you have about your services to those people.
Your grand opening should give out the impression that the restaurant cares about the community and is heavily involved in the betterment of the neighborhood. Partner up with a local NGO and drive a cause which is close to your heart. It becomes a story associated with your journey. People are much more likely to visit a restaurant with a great backstory. Seeing you help give back to the community might also endear you to those customers who also deeply care about these issues. Gives you restaurant business a noble face and frankly who wouldn’t want that?
Everybody loves free stuff. Don’t you? Yes! you do, so give the people coming to your restaurant something in free as well. First and foremost, it brings out and attracts a lot of crowds and second and most importantly it endears your restaurant to the general population. It could be anything from complimentary drinks or free appetizers or a whole meal free to XX number customer, anything you can offer for free, you offer for free. Apart from that, the feeling that a person has when they hog a lot of free food, people cannot, CANNOT refrain from telling other people about it, it actually creates a plethora of opportunities for word-of-mouth marketing for your restaurant. So in a way, it becomes an addition fo value for consumers and a marketing tactic at the same time. Two birds, one stone and the hunter(you) leaves for home a very happy restaurant owner.
If you can afford it, don’t just settle for one grand event. It will be like one of those parties that you forget about after a week. Make a timeline and chain of events leading up to this grand opening where everything will be 10x better. It engrosses a lot of customers and they follow along the events to socialize with the people they met there and also have the plan to bring along friends accordingly. This creates a storyline, a chain of events and sets a culture. If it goes well, you can make these events annual to rake in the best crowd of the city to your restaurant every year.
On your own, with just your own personal marketing efforts sometimes it could be hard for you to get the exposure and outreach that you hoped for. Many times, you need people who are satisfied and happy with your services to go and convince other people to come and take the dining experience of your restaurant. These people are called influencers. Influencers can be of many kinds, anyone could influence anyone to go or not go to your restaurants. However, there could be some special influencers such as local heroes, famous politicians, government officials, school principals, and if you go as far invite some small screen actors or famous YouTube stars. Instagram food bloggers are also a demographic you should try and invite. Famous critics, restaurant bloggers (like me!) all could change the face for your restaurant’s marketing efforts with a few words on social media or on the internet. The local celebs and important personalities could also create word-of-mouth marketing for your restaurants. Though no special treatment should be dished out, make sure no hiccups happen around these influencers.
Get on with the community! It’s important that people know you’re the go-to place for food. Search around for upcoming and ongoing local events and try and see out in what ways you can help with catering and providing food. Mini-stalls at college events, Bigger stalls at places where people require it the most offices, some remote locations. Support the causes in community events with a genuine aim of providing food to hungry mouths. That’s what the job of a restaurant is right? So show the people that though you are a business, you’re not in it just for the money, you’re looking to harbor trust and build relationships on the basis of good food and an attitude of high-quality service. Basically, Make A Difference! otherwise, you’re no better than average restaurants, who will shut down eventually.
Didn’t think you can put on all this pomp and show and not declare it on social media did you now? Fire up Facebook, Instantly get on Instagram and put down a Pinterest account! (Extra marks for Alliteration?). Create a buzz on Social Media, tease the audience with exciting and attractive offers that are going to be there if they show up to your grand opening. This will ensure you have a fan following raring to turn up at your doors come show time. It barely requires an effort just post once or twice a day, engage with users, like comments, post stories you could also announce social media platform specific contests. Contemplate restaurant grand opening ideas which can be projected very well on social media i.e. concepts that are fun, simple and easy.
Set up a Budget
Ideally, restaurant experts suggest that 20% of your budget should go up for setting up and advertising your grand opening, after all, it is the gateway to your restaurant for years to come. Ideally, this should cost a mid-large restaurant about Rs 3-3.5 lakhs. However, this money totally depends on how well cost-effective methods the restaurant utilizes for marketing and preparing the food and cutting overhead costs.
I know, I know that isn’t as easy to come up with good innovative restaurant grand opening ideas follow these steps and try and execute them in as cost-effective methods as you can for a successful launch.
Don’t forget before you commence any business operations do not forget to acquire your FSSAI license from us by either signing up on the link or by calling +91-8750008585.