“We don’t know how to do a grand opening,” said the owner of the Mekong Village Restaurant, located at 12020 Aurora Avenue North, who came to us wanting to advertise its new restaurant.
For mom and pop businesses, most owners just want to open their door and make money. In this competitive age, it is wise to use every occasion to create a buzz for your business. This reminds your potential customers that your business exists.
There are four reasons why small businesses, especially restaurants, should celebrate every step of their journey with family and friends.
1. It is hard work to open a restaurant. It involves developing a vision, getting the menu right, getting permits, remodeling, staffing, and marketing. A grand opening marks a milestone for a fledging entrepreneur. It will be a memorable moment for you to announce, “I did it!”
2. Marketing is the toughest part of any business. A grand opening is part of the marketing process. It gets the word out about the restaurant. The guests you invite to the opening ceremony will one day become customers due to the amount of goodwill you show. Your guest list should also include your neighbors, both business and residential.
3. The grand opening can be used as a means to get feedback. Invite guests to comment on the decor, menu, or anything relevant to the business. Whatever advice your guests offer is not only free, but provides you with a fresh perspective. If they care to give new ideas, they care about the success of the business. You win support and goodwill for your business, and it costs you relatively little.
4. Grand opening photos make great materials to start a history collection and create the identity of your business. I am always fascinated by restaurants’ picture walls, which display celebrity visitors.
When I patronize these restaurants, I can’t help but look at the wall. The picture wall will become one of the attractions for diners. ♦