Advertising and Marketing Before Your Grand Opening
You have planned, designed and prepared a food service business. Now it is almost time for your Grand Opening and you will need to attract customers. This means that you must invest time and money into advertising and marketing. The right campaign can ensure that you have a full house when opening day arrives. There are many methods that you can use to get the name of your business and your opening day out into the public. Once you create a buzz and make everyone in your targeted location aware of your existence, you will have a better chance of having a great turnout on opening day that will turn your inquisitive first time visitors into repeat customers.
Once you have decided to open a restaurant, created the theme, tested out the menu, decided upon your target audience and found the perfect location, you will need to build a website. Today everyone has a website and it is relatively easy to build your own website or have someone create it for you at a reasonable price. Your website will be the address your customers will turn to for all the up-to-date information on your restaurant. From your planned Opening Day activities, menus and prices, to your daily specials, you will need an attractive, easy-to-navigate website, along with an app for smartphones and androids.
Your website and smartphone app should include your menu and pricing and should answer any questions your potential customers may have before trying out your new establishment. The website and app should also have an easy-to-use online ordering system so customers can have easy access to your great food. While you may not implement online ordering for opening day, it is something you will probably want to have on hand for the future. You should also include your google maps location, address, all relevant parking information as well as your hours of operation. A phone number and contact name should also be included.
Currently, social media is the most essential and powerful tool you will need to advertise and market your new restaurant. Social media builds an on-line identity for your restaurant and connects your potential customers to your restaurant and what it’s all about. With the most popular social media platforms being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, creating an online presence means creating a Facebook business page, writing tweets about your opening day, posting pictures of your food on Instagram; and creating menu boards on Pinterest. Also important is setting up a Google+ account as it will allow Google’s Knowledge Graph to find your location. Also, if you plan on using PPC (pay-per-click ads) via Facebook, Twitter or Google AdWords, using geo-targeted ads in your campaign will ensure that only users within certain cities or within a specific radius will see your ads. This is especially useful for restaurant goers who are usually searching for nearby locations for eating out options, so it will save you money on PPC costs.
In addition to the above, listing your restaurant on Yelp, TripAdvisor and google apps: Restaurant Finder, are just a few of the many ways to get your restaurant’s name out there at a minimal cost.
Once you have an online presence, you can promote your Grand Opening by writing blogs, posting images and by showcasing videos on YouTube. Posting online videos of your restaurant, of your chef concocting interesting recipes and more can create interest and a following for your restaurant. You can also offer discounts to your followers, and create contests as your fan base increases. This will prompt people to share your page with their friends. And, as you spend time promoting your Grand Opening, and watch as the number of fans increase, you can be assured that the number of customers that social media brings in will be worth much more than the discounts and giveaways being offered.
Traditional Methods of Advertising
Although seemingly outdated, many people still prefer being able to hold something tangible in their hands, so there is still room for designing and printing flyers to give out in the local community. These can be handed out at local festivals or malls; mailed to people’s homes or delivered door-to-door. They can even be placed on cars in large parking lots. Whatever methods you choose, make sure the flyer is unique, enticing and emphasizes what makes your restaurant stand out. Be sure to include giveaways and discounts on the flyers to entice people to try out your new restaurant. And include your website address, your location and the date of your opening day festivities.
Local papers or community bulletins are also good places to advertise and get your new restaurant’s name into the community. You should utilize these ads to offer a discount to your customers on opening day, devise a contest, cooking show, giveaway or other gimmick to get people interested in your new eatery and show up at your door.
There are many ways to advertise and market your restaurant before your Grand Opening. Often, a combination of all the above will work best, but the most important things to consider are that investing in a well-thought out and creative plan for opening day will help promote the restaurant that you have always been dreaming about opening.