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Marketing Brick& Mortar By Digital Means: Finally, Grand Opening Day! But Are You Prepared?

Posted on September 1, 2012
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Well, you did it! Rather than sit at home all day, carelessly betting in poker hands at partycasino.com, you managed to craft a rock-solid business plan, arouse the interest of individuals willing to invest, and now you are the proud owner of a restaurant; and not just any restaurant, but your restaurant, something you have worked so hard to achieve. Now there is nothing left to do except finally open up for business.

However, grand opening day has proven two things—it can either be the launch of something great, or the mark of future failure. A botched grand opening is not only embarrassing for restaurant owners, but it does not look good from the perspective of potential customers, as well as any investors you might have lurking about. So what can you do?

In all actuality, there are a number of things you can do to help ensure success on the big day; too many to list in fact. Let’s start with advertising and promotion though. Speaking of which, how much of that have you done? You took your restaurant from dream to reality, but if you have neglected to implement a solid marketing campaign, how will anybody know your establishment even exists?

First and foremost, no business should even attempt a successful existence without a website. This should be your advertising headquarters; a place where potential patrons will go to determine business hours, phone numbers, and even menu options. From there, you can take your campaign to the streets, utilizing guerilla marketing tactics, blanketing cars with flyers, etc.

Perhaps, you could combine your marketing efforts with social initiative by hosting a charitable event in the community. This is where promotional products come into the picture. Moreover, since promo products have evolved tremendously from their beginnings as plain business cards and pens, the possibilities nowadays are much more creative. Now you can place your brand or identity on such items as sticks of balm, which is similar to chap-stick, and even stress balls shaped like a tomato. Considering you now own a restaurant, a tomato-shaped stress ball would be quite relevant in your marketing strategies.

Once you have a solid marketing campaign going, which is key to informing the general public of your restaurant’s existence, you can now focus your attention upon the actual restaurant. Generally, most restaurants consist of one very important element—the kitchen equipment. Not only are those big ovens and walk-in refrigerators expensive, but they can easily encounter technical issues, which can be truly detrimental on your potentially crowded grand opening. Therefore, in the weeks leading up to your big day, you are going to want to check and recheck your equipment. Bake a pizza, refrigerate some produce, do what you got to do to ensure the heart of your restaurant is working efficiently.

What does your staffing situation look like? While a grand opening can be quite hectic, most business owners do not want to see their entire workforce on the clock (that is, if you have a large employee base). In the week before your grand opening, plan the schedule of your employees and make sure that they know of the schedule. One thing is for sure, you don’t want to find out about any scheduling issues on the day of your grand opening.

While all of the information listed above is useful regarding the grand opening of a new restaurant, it does not come anywhere close to providing you with all of the vital information possible. With that being said, any responsible restaurant-owner should do their own research to determine which approach works best. Besides, you have one of the greatest resources just clicks away—Google. Find out what successful restaurant owners did to ensure a fantastic grand opening. Incorporate that information with the information above, as well as your own creative flair, and you will be on your way to a well-established, successful future in the restaurant industry.

Andrew Brusnahan would most definitely be considered a food advocate. With one arm in the restaurant industry and the other grasping a fork, he is the perfect person to write about anything related to food. If you would like to hire Andrew, or simply send him the next great recipe, contact him at abrusnahan@yahoo.com.

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