You’ve been preparing for it for months, but days before the opening day of your food franchise, you’re suddenly second-guessing.
But you didn’t invest in a food franchise for nothing. To help you maximize your restaurant franchise’s cost, many franchise brands offer pre-opening support. This includes construction assistance, managerial training, and negotiation support, so you’re more prepared on opening day. Just keep your composure, and consider following these soft opening suggestions to make your diner’s first day a huge success.
Start with a soft opening
The benefits of holding a soft opening are enough for any business to consider. Generally, it creates all the fanfare you’ll need for your actual first day. It’s also a great way to practice everything you’ve prepared for your grand opening, and you can get valuable feedback from it, too.
But a soft opening isn’t your full-blown first day at work, so you’re not opening to everyone yet. Instead, you should only receive select guests — friends, families, high-profile individuals — for a press preview.
Make your online presence known
To prepare for your grand opening, you also have to start making some noise on social media.
Post all your teasers on your digital channels. Create interesting content, such as a countdown or a sneak preview of the physical store. You can also post pre-opening promotions through your social media pages to drive more buzz.
Don’t forget to set up your website, too. This is where you can post your location, menu, and other relevant news about your diner.
Set pre-opening day promos
It’s not just about the hype. People would want to form a queue outside your diner waiting for you to open if you have a worthy promotion to offer them.
There are plenty of pre-opening day promos you can opt for. You can give out vouchers or coupons on your soft opening, or invite people to register for your rewards program. During the opening day, you can also dole out discounts to everyone bringing a plus one, or bid free meals to the first twenty customers.
Contact influencers for coverage
Both on your soft opening and your first day, you can invite social media influencers, so they can sample your offerings.
Why influencers? Because they’re better and more flexible partners than the press who may be more critical in their coverage. Plus, they have a direct influence on their massive online followers, which can provide your business with more mileage. Since they’re posting sponsored content online, you’d have more liberty to control the conversation. You can also invite them over any day to further boost social awareness.
Get in touch with charities
It’s also a good idea to partner with a charity for your opening day, not as an embellishment to your event but to build a greater sense of community with your customers. The ideal is to invite a charity that is aligned with your business’ values, or a local organization that’s dear to the people in the region. This move helps set positive precedence for your customers, that your franchise cares about people beyond business terms.
Once you get the ball rolling for your food business, the jitters never really last long. Just trust in your training and pay attention to what your customers have to say, and your food franchise will be successful in no time.