If you're opening a new restaurant, you don't want to find the place empty on your establishment's first night. You need to acquire loyal customers. Kick things off by pulling in the public and making people want to come back. Your grand opening night will vary, according to your budget and the kind of customers you'd like to attract.
A contest organised around a specific type of food which your restaurant will be serving not only helps to promote how tasty your food is, but also gets customers involved and passionate about your establishment. For example, if you're opening a pizzeria, you might ask the chefs to prepare a few huge pizzas, several times the size of a typical pizza. Customers who can handle the challenge of this giant pizza, and perhaps manage to eat the whole thing, could win a gift token or possibly a small trophy.
A selection of samples on hand for visitors to try is a simple idea -- few consumers will argue with the opportunity to taste some free food and try out what your restaurant has to offer. If your establishment is in an area where potential customers walk past on a regular basis, you can even place a few staff members outside to lure passersby into the restaurant with food handouts.
If you're aiming for a family-friendly feel at your establishment, you'll want to consider ways to appeal to kids at your grand opening. A life-size restaurant mascot will keep the kids entertained and promote a fun environment. This mascot can be themed around the food you serve, for instance, if you're specialising in chicken, a rooster mascot will advertise your product as well as providing an entertaining presence.
Whether your restaurant has any connection to music, some background entertainment on the night of the grand opening will likely go down as a treat. A bit of jazz, piano music or perhaps a local cover band will add atmosphere and also bring in fans of that particular genre of music.
You might consider donating some of the proceeds from your opening night to a local charitable organisation. Partnering with a local charity is a win-win situation when it comes to restaurant grand openings. It helps to establish your business in a positive light as a supporter of the local community, and you may find that any entertainment acts you've booked will work for less money to help promote the charity. For the charity, the grand opening helps spread awareness of their mission and aids in raising funds.
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