Grand Opening restaurant is more important than you think, especially for a classy restaurant. Most restaurant owners feel that they can solve problems over time. That is indeed true. However, if your restaurant’s grand opening is messy and disappointing, your restaurant can’t make a good impression. Conversely, if the grand opening of your restaurant is successful, your restaurant can attract many customers.
Grand Opening restaurant is very important. Because of its importance, most restaurant owners will conduct a trial called Soft Opening. If your restaurant’s opening ceremony is visited by many people, then it makes the service slow and the food not delicious, many visitors will not come to your restaurant again. Here are tips for succeeding the Grand Opening:
Many Staff Scheduling
It’s not important that you streamline payroll at the opening ceremony. Schedule enough staff to provide redundancy. You might want to schedule several ‘buoys’ who are cross-trained to work in a number of key areas.
Train Restaurant Staff
Your restaurant staff must know where all the equipment is, be familiar with the menu, and have experience using your restaurant’s POS system.
Encouraging Strong Work Ethics
Restaurant owners and managers must often appear before staff. Interacting with visitors is important, but managers must spend enough time behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. The future of your restaurant depends on how well you manage the restaurant in the first few days. Therefore, don’t be lazy.
Invite Friends and Family
Invite friends, family members, and coworkers to come before the official opening. That way, you can ask for valuable advice from them for improvement before the official opening ceremony.
Request a Local Trader
You can do promotions by asking local merchants to try your restaurant menu or be present at your meet-and-greet bar at night.
Advertise on Social Media
Take advantage of social media to get other people interested in your restaurant by posting a series of articles. The content of the article can be an explanation of various dishes; what goes on behind the scenes; and the experience of your restaurant staff.
Hold a Soft Opening Event
Soft Opening can prevent your restaurant from being overwhelmed by the number of visitors that exceeds estimates. For one or two weeks before the Grand Opening, your restaurant staff can try to solve operational problems so that later they can provide maximum service. During this period, you can improve performance in the kitchen and service; updating the menu using the principle of menu engineering; and streamlining workflows. Other benefits of soft opening are:
- Make the final decision about decorating and setting the table
- Make restaurant staff and bartenders familiar with menus, cooking hours, “Mise En Place” tactics, coating techniques and food containment strategies
- Train staff on how to manage visitors, provide food advice, and use the POS system
- Make all staff in your restaurant know where equipment such as dishes, seasonings, and more are stored.
Soft Opening is the ideal time to invite special guests such as influence’s, local artists, food reviewers, reporters, and restaurant shareholders. If you are nervous, invite someone you know and ask him to give constructive criticism.
Grand Opening Can Be a Publication Magnet
By holding a Grand Opening formally, your restaurant can get the attention of the local media and news. You can get publications, spark curiosity, and introduce the concept of your restaurant to potential visitors. The benefits of the publication will continue even after the Grand Opening is over – invited guests will be honored and people who like the concept of your restaurant’s culinary will be attracted to come to your restaurant later on even though they are not present at the opening ceremony. Satisfied visitors will come back again.
Promotion ideas for the Grand Opening
Promotional ideas for the Grand Opening can be in the form of special decorations, sampler plates, bounce incentives, live entertainment and collaboration with local merchants or city festivals. If you are in an artistic area, you can invite local artists and photographers to display their work. If there is a local festival, you can set up an outdoor booth to offer several menu items. You can also partner with local charities during the opening and donate a portion of the proceeds. You can share samples in front of the restaurant to attract the attention of customers. Outdoor signs, digital signs and banners can also generate a lot of publicity.
Regardless of what promotional strategies are used, you need to remember that food and service are still the most important. Instagram offers a free application where you can upload photos and videos to websites and social media. During the Grand Opening, take lots of photos to use as promotional material and encourage other visitors to upload photos and write comments on social media.
Promoting the Grand Opening Event
Grand Opening, although it is held simply, still needs to be promoted properly. You can target the surrounding population by distributing sheets or sending letters. But if your restaurant has the ability to attract the interest of many people, you can promote it more broadly to the surrounding cities or so on. You can also join SMEs to get strategies in building businesses and building relationships with prospective customers through networking.
Plan a Schedule for Opening
You have to manage the opening event, both Soft Opening and Grand Opening, which are in accordance with the concept and target of your customers. You can open a restaurant quietly before the Grand Opening to overcome operational problems that affect your restaurant’s performance. During this period, you can also have a food tasting event; provide a sample menu; post menus on the internet; and distributing flyers at the nearest retail outlet. The schedule might include pre-launch activities:
- Invite friends to try your food informally in the kitchen.
- Find out local influencers and social media platforms that are used by target customers and groups of entrepreneurs in your area.
- Create websites and links to respectable and well-known sites.
- Design your restaurant’s logo and color.
- Prepare sample menus, culinary information, chef biographies, and other details for the press.
- Choose the right Grand Opening date so you have time to gather all the information about permissions; complete construction; and hold a Soft Opening.
Technological and Staffing Considerations
Building technology for restaurants is very important in this competitive industry. You cannot escape from the fact that restaurant management and marketing have changed. Customer orders may not be written manually by the waiter and you also cannot write staff schedules on the board or paper. Equipment must also not be recorded on paper. Modern applications can simplify management, provide understanding of your restaurant, and prevent thieves and waste.
With the POS system, you can make the ordering process simpler. In addition, the POS system can also accept payments via credit card and record sales data. You can see a copy of the order and sales data, then compare it with the previous data. Plus, you can see sales data based on time, food, and other criteria that are important for restaurants.
About 80 percent of restaurants today use applications such as CRM and ERP. In addition, many of them also use the online booking and booking system. About 49 percent of restaurants offer payment via smart phones. Therefore, the POS system is very important if you want to grow your business.
Try to enroll employees in opening success by encouraging their pride in images, biographies and competitions. Be sure to train them thoroughly, give them the tools they need to succeed and praise them well when they do good work.