6 Restaurant Opening Promotion Ideas to Win More Customers

Here are 6 restaurant opening promotion ideas to win more customers in 2021.

You have spent months & months of planning and now you are finally ready to open up your restaurant. You have everything sorted from the food to the atmosphere and staff but what about the actual opening day?

You want to ensure that your restaurant opening goes off with a bang and generates the right buzz that will help your business soar. After all, no business wants to fall into the statistics that state that 60% of restaurants close during their first year.

So, let’s get this grand opening right. After all, you are only going to get one chance to make the perfect first impression. Here are some great restaurant promotion ideas to win more customers right from the get-go!

Do Promotions Really Work?

Do Promotions Really Work?

Holding the perfect grand restaurant opening is an essential restaurant marketing strategy that can ensure that customers, and more importantly the right customers, come to your restaurant and put out the word about your business.

One way to make this grand opening a success is through the restaurant opening promotion ideas that we will be discussing below.

But the question is do such promotions even work? After all, promotions are just a way of giving things away, so how can that possibly do any good?

Let’s look at some stats:

  • 57% of Millennials have stated that they seek out restaurant coupons.
  • According to research, more than 1 in 3 restaurant customers are willing to take the time to search for deals before they dine out.
  • In fact, 38% of those surveyed said they were willing to travel 10 or more miles to get a deal on a meal at a restaurant.
  • 80% of diners are more likely to try a restaurant if there is a deal available.
  • 55% of respondents of a survey said they use both digital and paper coupons.
  • 82% of Americans said that being provided with an exclusive offer increased how often they shopped with a brand.

Just these few studies indicate that the right promotion can help you not only bring in new customers but also help retain customers. Both of which are essential for a successful restaurant business to run.

Top Restaurant Opening Promotion Ideas

Top Restaurant Opening Promotion Ideas

Here are some restaurant opening promotion ideas.

You can consider these ideas for your grand opening to get customers through the door and generate the buzz you need to give your business a fighting chance of success in this competitive industry.

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 1: Create an Extended Grand Opening

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 1: Create an Extended Grand Opening

While many may consider a ‘grand opening’ as a single-day event, there is nothing that is limiting you or your business to follow that trend.

You can always consider having a grand opening week rather than limiting your opening event and promotions to a single day.

By extending your grand opening you give your restaurant a chance to have a greater impact and your customers to have more exposure to your brand. Thus, you will be able to create a more impactful and extended splash for your customers.

One way to do this, if you are having an opening week, is to have each day have a separate theme or cater to specific groups of customers.

You will thus be able to give the people you want as loyal customers the unique experience they crave to get them to keep coming back to your restaurant.

Another way to take this promotion idea is to have a soft opening before the actual grand opening.

Soft openings are a great way to work on your brand and your restaurant before you advertise your opening to the larger public.

With a soft opening, you have the opportunity to perfect any issues in your restaurant with the help of feedback from people close to you.

Soft openings are all about the actual food and atmosphere rather than the party and fanfare.

 

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 2: Support a Cause

Another great idea is to support a cause. You could partner with a local non-profit entity, support a local charity or event, or even create your own charity event.

There are multiple avenues you can go down if you are considering supporting a cause for your grand opening.

One way is to merge your grand opening with that of a fundraiser you create. This could be anything from a food drive, a marathon, or even a green initiative.

People will then come to your fundraiser event which will either be held at your restaurant or catered by your restaurant.

Another way is to partner with an already established charity or local non-profit. You can create a special dish for the organization and all proceeds of the sales go to the charity.

You could also create a special event with the charity or sponsor an already existing event and align your grand opening with it.

Supporting a cause is not only a good way to draw people in who support the same cause but it also acts as a way to build a positive relationship with your community.

Think long term with this promotion idea, as once you show your restaurant is a business willing to give back, you create a positive reputation and invite people to support a local charitable business.

In fact, a study conducted in 2017 by Cone Communications found that 92% of those surveyed were more likely to have a positive image of organizations that supported social and environmental causes. 

Moreover, 87% were found to be more loyal to brands that supported causes. So why not start from the get-go? Establish your restaurant as one that is invested in giving back right from day one on your grand opening.

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 3: Choose a Special Occasion

Timing your restaurant’s grand opening right is another important consideration to making your launch and ultimately your business a success.

One way that the majority of individuals spend special occasions and holidays is by going out to restaurants for a meal.

Use this flux of potential customers to your advantage and launch on a special holiday that offers greater outreach as well as great opportunities for promotions and marketing campaigns.

In fact, studies have shown that 94% of those dining on holidays indicate that they have parties consisting of five other guests.

Not only does having a grand opening on a holiday offer more customers coming in it also allows for free advertising for your brand since your customers are likely to post and share pictures and link your restaurant on their social media accounts.

If opening on a grand holiday seems daunting another way to go is to look into a local event. Whether that be a local school’s play, a concert, or an art exhibition. You could offer discounts to all those who present the ticket of that event thus enticing all the attendees of that event to come to your restaurant after.

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 4: Include Influencers

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 4: Include Influencers

The aim is to generate a big buzz and get the word out about your restaurant.

You can invite a number of celebrities or influencers to your event including athletes, actors, musicians, local personalities, etc. Depending on your reach and your budget the possibilities are endless.

You can even invite local food critics or bloggers/vloggers. These individuals have sizeable social media followings and can get the news of your restaurant out to a larger audience through posts on their accounts or YouTube videos or blog posts.

You can use the presence of these influences to your advantage and make a celebration and event out of it.

Consider things such as setting up a red carpet, or offering pictures with the celebrity or influencer in front of a backdrop with your restaurant’s logo.

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 5: Loyalty Offerings

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 5: Loyalty Offerings

Another idea for your grand opening is to provide the guests that come to the event an incentive to keep coming back with loyalty offerings.

Such incentives offer you the ability to make the customers that come to your event loyal to your brand.

One way to make this idea more appealing to customers is by using restaurant loyalty technology. Often having to carry loyalty cards or other such physical items for loyalty offerings can be off-putting.

If you are wondering how you can pull this off why not check out Blink? Blink is an online ordering solution that offers the ability to create both mobile apps and web interfaces for your restaurant taking the hassle and technical skills needed to create such platforms off your shoulders.

One feature that Blink offers on its platforms is the ability for customers to earn loyalty points and offerings. This takes away the need for physical loyalty cards etc and provides your customers with an easier solution.

Check out everything Blink has to offer for both you and your customers here.

Another way you can incentivize customers to come through the door in your grand opening is by advertising some sort of perk for customers who show you they have downloaded your app. 

Restaurant Opening Promotion Idea 6: Offer Free Perks

People like free things, it’s as simple as that. Offering customers of your grand opening free things could include a variety of things such as a free dessert with every two entrees, free drinks for the night, or even small takeaways like vouchers or gift baskets.

In fact, even the simplest thing such as offering free samples has been found to have between a 25 to 30% conversion rate. That is to say that approximately a quarter of all people who were offered a free sample ended up buying the actual product.

This promotion idea, therefore, is very versatile can easily be incorporated into your grand opening. Whether that be offering those present at your event free things or special discounts. Or even using this idea of free sampling to provide potential customers with tasters of your best menu items to entice them into walking through your doors.

Important Notes for Restaurant Promotions

While we have provided you with some restaurant opening promotion ideas that can help you gain a good customer base there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when offering any sort of promotion.

The first and most important consideration should be having the knowledge of who your customer base actually is.

If you choose to offer a promotion that is not enticing to the customers coming to your restaurant it is a waste of effort and money.

You need to identify, understand, and analyze who your existing as well as potential customers are.

Consider your brand and what you have to offer. Keep in mind where you are located and thus what type of clientele will be coming to your restaurant. Will they be people on lunch break from offices or families with small children.

One way to analyze and know your existing customer base is through Blink’s analytics features. Blink offers the ability for restaurants as administrators to see the statistics of online orders for both the website and mobile application through an in-built basic BI suite.

You can also use these statistics to look at your business challenges which is our next point. When considering offering a promotion you need to identify what it is your restaurant is trying to achieve. Are you looking to bring people through the door on your opening day or to turn existing customers into loyal customers?

Look into what menu items are not being received well or which branch has more canceled orders.

Finally, you want to balance offering restaurant opening promotion ideas that simply increase revenue with those that can generate press for your restaurant and thus eventually increase revenue.

Having promotions that create brand awareness while may not offer the quick buck is important to promotional campaigns and can improve revenue and sales in the long run by creating long-lasting customers.

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