Opening a restaurant may seem like a dream come true for some, especially if you’ve worked in the industry for several years and you’ve always wanted to own your own establishment.
But owning and opening a restaurant is a huge undertaking. And not many beginning restaurateurs understand the full scope of what is needed when your establishment’s opening day finally comes.
As with any business, you have to market and promote yourself using a specific strategy if you hope to gain the support and trust of your local community. And this can be achieved in a variety of ways.
Here, we’ll explore how you can market and promote yourself effectively and a few tricks about how to handle your opening day.
Getting Ready: Stocking Up on Inventory
Before you even attempt to turn on your “Open” sign, you’ll need to ensure that you’re completely prepared.
This means that you need to be well-stocked up on ingredients, and this is specifically true with dessert items.
Most restaurant owners underestimate the onslaught of customers on opening day. As such, many restaurants commonly run out of specific menu items, especially dessert items, upon opening.
You’ll want to ensure that you’re a bit overstocked on those items that you feel you’ll sell out of. And the ingredients to make them as well. For example, you’ll want to ensure that you have the right supplies such as cream chargers ready for any whipped toppings that you can offer with your desserts.
You’ll find that you’re going to have many unhappy customers if you serve a dish without whipped topping, especially if the menu specifically states that this is how it’s to be served.
Traditional Marketing Channels: Getting the News Out
Before you even begin hiring for your establishment, you’re going to want to get the word out that you’re about to open for business. And this can be done many months in advance.
Utilizing local resources such as radio and television stations is the best way to get the buzz going for a new establishment. And if you’re offering something new and unique to an undeveloped part of town, or if you’re going to be joining other local restaurant owners in a popular district, you need to let the community know.
In addition to local radio and television, getting the word out on social media channels can also prove to be beneficial prior to opening.
Chances are, members of your local community will see a post about a new establishment and want to share it with their followers. And this can generate massive interest if you post about your establishment on a frequent basis.
Friends and Family Day: Forging Relationships in the Community
Before you open your doors to the general public, you’re going to want to hold a soft opening. And this is common in the restaurant industry just as a means to see how your FOH and BOH team functions as a unit.
Often, restaurants over-hire for opening day. And this is because you never really know who your stronger team members are going to be until they hit the floor and begin working.
This is also a great time to work out any execution issues or any issues with recipes. Further, you’ll also be able to tell which menu items are fast sellers, and you’ll be able to modify your inventory and purchasing strategy as well.
On friends and family day, this is also a great time to get to know your team members’ friends and family and begin spreading the word about your establishment. And with any luck, you’ll work out all of your problems and have a huge success on opening day.
Opening a restaurant might seem like a gargantuan task. But with a little innovation and proper planning, you’ll be able to open your doors wide and offer something new and exciting to the local community.
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