Your restaurant has probably been months or even years in the making. No doubt its location, menu, supplies, staff and branding has caused many a sleepless night, but all the hard work and passion has been worth it, because you have finally ironed out the details and all that is left to do is open the doors to the public. Its only natural to feel a little scared ahead of the launch, but a handy checklist can ensure you enjoy a stress-free grand opening that will wow your guests.
The Pre-launch List
Write down a list of actions that will need to be performed prior to the opening, and write down the name of the person performing each task. This will allow you to check on your teams progress in the run-up to the grand launch, so you can tick off that the flowers have been ordered, you have received the RSVPs, the restaurant has been cleaned and decorated, the waiting staff know their roles and the tables are set.
Speak to Your Chefs
You will want the opening night to take place without a hitch, so the last thing you will want is for something to go wrong in the kitchen. Speak to the head chef to identify if they are ready for the launch, because they could require additional commercial kitchen equipment, might be low on an ingredient or could be dealing with a faulty appliance. Whatever their problem, provide the solution as soon as possible to ensure they are ready to cook from the moment the doors open.
Pick the Perfect Launch Date
Try to pick the right date for an opening night to ensure your restaurant is alive with guests. While you cannot see into the future, you can avoid choosing a launch date thats close to a seasonal holiday or national event, such as St Patricks Day or the Super Bowl.
Create a Press Kit
Theres no reason why you cannot market your restaurant in the run-up to its official launch. Create a press kit that offers an insight into your company, dishes and style. For example, you could publish a press release, and you could send your sample menu, professional photographs and fact sheet to the media. You can also invite influential journalists to take a private tour of the restaurant before the grand opening, or you can sit down for an interview to discuss your new culinary venture.
Market Your Restaurant to the Public
On the day of the opening, create a pre-launch buzz on the streets with your food, as your staff can provide appetizer and dessert samples to passers-by, encouraging them to book a table at your restaurant. Word of mouth can be a powerful thing when it comes to a restaurant, especially if people fall in love with your food and you could even ask if they would like to book a table there and then, so you have customers before you have even opened your doors.