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Grand Opening Ideas for Restaurants

Monika Kamińska

Marketing and communication enthusiast with 20+ years of experience, a psychologist by education.

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It is official – you are about to host a grand opening of your restaurant! Yay! It is extremely exciting, we know, but first things first – you need a good marketing plan. Some people’s vocation is to throw parties, and they are quite good at it. But if you are on a budget, then you do not need to hire a party planner for your grand opening. You can always count on the internet. The web is full of interesting grand opening ideas for almost every business, including restaurants. Let us brainstorm here and come up with some of the best grand opening ideas for restaurants here.

Set Up a Date for Your Grand Opening

There are many awesome restaurant grand opening ideas out there, but they all should start with setting up a particular day for the event. Everything around the weekend is usually better, because most people are off from work, and they are more likely to show up. Once you decide on the day, you may start planning!

Good Plan is What You Need

It all starts with an idea and a good plan. If your restaurant holds on to a particular theme, then some of those restaurant grand opening promotion ideas might want to involve a theme as well. And if not, you can always create one. But first, think of your target. What kind of people will most likely visit your restaurant? Is it a modern eatery for younger people, or perhaps a classier place for that chic and elegant clientele? Or maybe it is more like a diner, suitable for all the folks out there?

Spread the Word!

Let the world know you are opening a restaurant. Well, by world, we mean the neighborhood or perhaps even the whole city. There are many ways to advertise. Since you are probably going to be “new in town”, you might want to consider local media, like radio and newspapers. See if there are any events coming up – you might want to promote your business there. If you can appear there with a food truck or at least a stand, that serves samples of your food, then that would be great. If not – leaflets might do the work as well.

Attract Those Customers

If you decide to release some sort of “campaign” over the radio, make sure to make it sound awesome! Attract your future customers and offer them a free dessert or a free glass of wine. People love freebies. Do not forget about customized pens or keychains. It will not cost you a lot and it will definitely look good.

Grand Opening Promotion is a Must

Restaurant grand opening promotion ideas are something you should not and cannot avoid. Think of the most attractive meal prices for the grand opening. Perhaps some lunch specials. Let it be a special day. Maybe you can let the kids eat for free that day? Kid’s menu does not have to be fancy. Children usually eat simple things like pasta, chicken nuggets and French fries of course!

Create a Kid’s Friendly Environment

Parents are exhausted, so when the weekend comes, they would do a lot to get at least some rest. If your restaurant is going to be kid’s friendly – make sure to create a safe and convenient playing area for the little ones. What it more, to make it even more attractive – hire a person who will take care of the kids while parents are eating and enjoying their wine. Perhaps a person who will do some face painting, or a Disney princess, who will play with the kids. Let the children be occupied for a while.

Live Entertainment Might Be Something Worth Checking Out

There are multiple restaurant grand opening event ideas, and one of them is definitively a live entertainment segment. The children’s zone is a separate thing here. Let us focus on entertaining the rest of the clientele. You can have a live band performing some catchy tunes, but nothing too loud – people do not like to shout over the table while eating their lunch. Let the music be soft but pleasant. Or perhaps a magician? If you happen to know local celebrities – then definitely invite them over. Nothing attracts people more than a well-known face.

Do Not Forget About Special Offers

If you are still wondering about different grand opening promotion ideas for your restaurant, let us remind you about offering your clients special offers and discounts. You can also give each customer a voucher for a free meal next time they visit your restaurant. Something that will make them want to come back again soon.

What About the Décor?

Make it look special. Search for unique restaurant grand opening decoration ideas. You can keep it simple, yet classy and chic. Some lights, fresh flowers, maybe a bit of candles. Try not to overdo it. Modern restaurant spaces are becoming more and more popular these days, but that does not mean you need to have one at your eatery. You make the rules here. There is only one condition – do not clutter. We know, that putting that one extra table in the corner will give you a chance to hold more customers, but people like their space, especially when they are hanging out with their friends at a restaurant. No one wants to be squeezed like a sardine. If there is a possibility – create those outdoor seating arrangements.

Who to Invite for Your Grand Opening Party?

Ahh, the list! You should definitely sit down and work on an invitation list for the grand opening of your restaurant. There are those people who you need to invite. Of course, your friends and family should be there to support you, but let us not forget about other people, who are also quite important. People, who are very likely to spread the word and bring your business those future potential customers. See if there are any local influencers, who will be willing to accept the invitation. Perhaps some local authorities, or other well-respected people, whose presence might boost your future income.

Can Social Media Help Here?

You bet it can help! There are tons of restaurant grand opening promotion ideas, that involve different channels of social media. Your business’ Instagram or Facebook page might still be a bit unknown, so partner up with other businesses, that are already established. Perhaps a local flower show or a beauty salon can post something about your grand opening. Collaborations are good for the business.

Get Your Web Page Ready for The Visitors as Well!

While preparing everything ready at the actual venue, do not forget about the internet! Let you home page be ready to be viewed. Just like your Instagram and Facebook accounts. Be sure to keep your website easy to navigate. Check the address and opening hours twice! Upload some nice pictures of the interior. Add some photos of your staff.  Make is look pleasant. Let the customers know about any upcoming deals, events and those specials prices, which are going to be happening during the grand opening!

Menu is Important!

If there is a new restaurant in town, first thing that people check is the food and prices. Remember to have your menu all set up before the grand opening. Think of the vegetarian options as well. People are more cautious about what they eat these days, and they like to have a choice. Do not forget about beverages and desserts. You can throw some extra dishes for the grand opening week and see if they will find the approval of the guests.

Let Us Get Back to the Invitation Matter One More Time

Once the list of guests is ready, you might want to send out the invitations. Unless you wish to keep the grand opening event available for the general public. It is all up to you. If you want to make it more private, then you might want to order invitations. There are plenty of templates online. See if you prefer the paper version, or maybe you want to invite your friends through an email. You can also mix your guests, and invite some of the people you wish to have at your grand opening, and leave some room for the rest of the crowd, who heard about the grand opening over the radio.

Two Grand Openings?!

It is possible! If you do not wish to mix your guests, you may always throw two separate grand opening parties. You can make one a VIP event, with the second grand opening party being only for the general public. A VIP grand opening might be transformed into a chic and elegant dinner, whereas the huge grand opening might last throughout the day. The more people come; the bigger chances are your restaurant will gain many new potential clients.

Make it a Festival!

This restaurant grand opening idea might seem a bit crazy, but it might find its enthusiasts! Turn your event into a festival. It may last the entire weekend! You can make different themes for each day. Designate one day to be a kid’s friendly day, or add some sweepstakes to make it more interesting. Let the people draw the numbers on Friday, and then let the big prize reveal take place on Sunday. That way the poeple will want to come back and see if they won.

Partner Up with Other Businesses

Just like we have mentioned already, collaborations might do some good for your business. See if a local hair saloon wishes to work together, and create a mini hair show at their saloon – with your restaurant being a caterer. It might not entirely be connected to your grand opening – but keep those collaboration ideas in your mind for the future.

Bring That Red Carpet Out!

You can add a bit of a Hollywood vibe to your grand opening. Getting that red carpet for the event might be a good restaurant grand opening idea. Hire a photographer to take photos of the guests. Create a backdrop and let your customers sparkle and make them feel like celebrities for a moment. Let them shine bright!

Make Sure to Meet Your Potential Customers

Some people would definitely like to meet the owners of the restaurant, so be ready to get out there and chat a bit. Be friendly and keep that smile on your face. Let the people know, that together with your staff, you will do everything it takes to make the customers feel welcomed and satisfied!

Get a Cake!

Although cakes are usually associated with birthdays and other jubilee celebrations, you can still order a huge cake for the grand opening day. A cake or mini cupcakes might be a good way to celebrate the opening of your new restaurant. A cupcake on the house is always welcomed! Something delicious to sweeten up everyone’s day! Now, that is a tasty grand opening idea for a restaurant there!

Do Not Forget About Those Goodie Bags!

Almost every party ends with a belly full of good food and a bag of goodies. “Thank You” cards are welcomed too, but it would be nice to give out those mini goodie bags. You can either get a bunch of personalized key chains or mugs with your restaurant’s info on them, or simply give out vouchers for future visits. Whatever you choose – make sure that each customer leaves with a goodie bag. They will love it for sure!

Have the Speech Ready

If you are planning on throwing a VIP grand opening, you might want to give a “Thank you for coming” speech. The number of guests is most likely to be limited, and they might all be present there at the same time, so be sure to take advantage of that and thank them for their support. You may invite them to visit your restaurant again soon. Let them know how happy you are, that they have found some time in their busy schedules, to visit your restaurant during its grand opening event.

Home Delivery!

Do not forget to let your guests know, that your restaurant can deliver its delicious food straight to their door! So, if they ever feel like staying in and hanging out at home, they may always call or order the food online. Fast delivery is crucial here, so make sure your delivery people act fast!

Make the Event Memorable

Whether you decide to hire a magician or a live band, make sure that the grand opening of your restaurant will be memorable. Take photos and videos. Who knows, maybe next year, while celebrating a one-year anniversary, you can show those pictures so everyone can reminiscent a bit. You might create an annual event, which will attract a good deal of customers at your eatery.

Think of The Music

If you decide to hire a live band to perform during your restaurant’s grand opening party, then you got it all covered. But if you decide to play a music from the speakers, make sure to prepare a music list before the event. Music should be soft. It should be heard somewhere there in the background. Nothing too heavy, nor too dull. Your song list might start with something livelier and end with those delicate notes and tones. Or you can simply play some instrumental music, which is more neutral. Whatever works best with the vibe of your restaurant.

Get Your Staff Involved

One of the restaurant grand opening ideas is to present your staff. Remember, a good working environment is a key to your success. Make your staff visible during the grand opening. Let them know, they are doing some good work there. Afterall, those are the people whose work will make the event more memorable and successful. Grand opening is stressful for the owners as well as for the employees. Team work is essential here.

As you can see, there are plenty of grand opening ideas and plans for restaurants. You definitely need to write down your own plan. Think of those grand opening decorations for the restaurant, as well as other matters that are going to be crucial during this huge event you are about to host. There is one goal here – show your guests, that your restaurant is definitely a place worth visiting!

Monika Kamińska

Marketing and communication enthusiast with 20+ years of experience, a psychologist by education.

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