Why you should hold restaurant grand opening after few weeks of operations

Why you should hold restaurant grand opening after few weeks of operations

Setting up a restaurant is a huge undertaking. From the right building to the right design & decoration and staff, it all takes a lot of blood and sweat. Naturally, after having invested so much effort in establishing a nice place one would want to open its doors to public with a bang on the very first day. Correct idea. But the timing? Not quite. You disagree? Read on.


Why formal opening after few weeks


You are new to business and don’t know what problems you may come across in any department. The people of the locality don’t know anything about this new restaurant which has opened its doors to public only just. Your kitchen and kitchen staff is untested. Your servers’ team is a mix of fresh and experienced members. It is not clear how they would perform on the very first day. Your menu is untested. While you may have an idea of the taste of your menu items, the customers don’t know that as yet. And it is them whose feedback would determine the final shape of your menu. Then, you are yet to gauge the server-kitchen coordination. With zero idea of the time between order placed and order served, you can’t be sure of table turnover rate.


The other important reasons you should hold the grand opening few weeks after initiation of your restaurant’s operations are discussed below.


Meet and greet


Your restaurant is put on trial the moment the first customer walks through your entrance. And just now is the time to make the first impression. Ideally it should be yourself, but if it is one of your staff members, make sure that they greet the customers in the most elegant and endearing of styles. Make them feel special. This is an art that needs mastering which can only come through real time practice. So the pre-opening period is the best time for you to master this art.




You have hired a servers’ team which is the best under the given circumstances. You expect them to work at their best. But the reality of that you would know only when they work in real time. The first few weeks would be a golden time to test the servers for punctuality, efficiency, decorum, service, number of customers served, etc.




Menu is central to the success of a restaurant. Yours may be the best according to you in terms of the items, their prices, their quantities, their tastes, etc. But here the ultimate arbiter would be the customer. Encourage the customers to comment on the tastes, deficiencies, prices and quantity. This would help you straighten out the menu to the likes of potentially greater numbers of people before the big opening day. Using smart iPad Point of Sale system, you can easily upload customized menu for your restaurant.


Kitchen-server coordination


This is one of the most crucial things to be sure of: Kitchen-server coordination. There’s got be complete correspondence between servers and kitchen staff to make sure that neither the orders are mixed up nor delayed.


Order serving


It is very important that customers are not made to wait long before their order is served. This could be taken care of in the pre-opening weeks by noting down the time period between order placement and serving. If a bit longer is being taken, you could take measures to fix that so that there’s no such delay on the big day. This would also give you the opportunity to observe the skill, efficiency and speed of your kitchen staff.




Another benefit of pre-opening ‘practice’ would be to know how your initial inventory stock has fared. Remember you had started only with a limited quantity of the core items reflecting your menu? These few weeks would be the time to check which items were used more, which items were used less and which items went unused, and all of that happened in how much time. This knowledge would give you a clear cut idea about the way things would pan out on the opening day and beyond, and hence you would be able to take right decisions with respect to your inventory.


Point of Sale


Where the pre-opening weeks would give you a dress-rehearsal of the opening day and the days to come after that, they would also let you test your restaurant point of sale. From processing of bills (cash, credit card) to management of inventory, personnel, sales, etc. to analyses of all things business, this would be the time to test-run and experience your POS system as well so that you may have the necessary modifications (if needed) before the grand opening.




They say that all is well that ends well. You’ve got to practice giving each customer a farewell they would not forget in a day or two. Practice saying nice things like ‘we look forward to welcoming you again’, ‘we hope you liked our food and services’, etc.


Invitation for the grand opening


If you have been able to make your mark on the customers, complete that ‘offensive’ with a formal invitation card for the grand opening. Make them feel that they’re the most important ones to be had on that day. This would go a long way in generating the buzz about your restaurant in the neighbourhood and beyond.


Practicing to perfection these elements would help you cover the loopholes and make yourself confident for full-blown restaurant opening.


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