When you think of "opening day" you usually think about sporting events. Opening day is usually one of the most anticipated days in sports, so people bring their families and friends and pack the stadium. What many people do not realize, however, is that getting these people interested took time. The team had to win, they had to advertise, and they had to create a solid stadium: a buzz about the new team on the block. This same mentality can be carried into the restaurant industry.
No matter what the industry or what the business; it always helps to have customers lined up wanting your product. Unfortunately, this is difficult to do before you're open for business. It takes careful planning and motivation to get clients hooked before you're a "real business." After all, your business is likely still in the planning stages before it's open. For this reason, it can be very difficult to worry about attracting these initial clients. However, these clients are sure to get your restaurant up and running right away, so it's worth a try, right?
Most business owner agree that having a client base right at the get go helps employee morale and helps a company to grow at a faster pace. If you think you're ready to grab those initial customers, consider a few of these tips:
5 Tips and Tricks to Getting those Initial Customers
- Family and Friends - This is the number one way companies try to get their first customers. Talk with your family and friends and have them help you. Even if these friends and family aren't directly interested, they can help spread the word by talking with everyone they know. People are more likely to listen to someone close to them, so this is a great way to gain the trust of people before you open your doors.
- Don't Give Up - Being persistent is extremely important. Many companies are overwhelmed before opening day of a restaurant, so they put finding customers on the back burner. The truth is, your opening day will be much more successful if you have people there ready to test you. Make sure your business will be solid when you open, and then make finding customers your number one priority.
- Begin Marketing - Some companies think that marketing has to come after the opening of a store or business. The truth is, marketing should start much sooner. You know what your company is about and you know what it has to offer, so it's important you let the world know even before you have all the kinks figured out. By the time people start paying attention, you'll be ready to go.
- Networking - This is a bit of an overlap with marketing, but worth its own bullet nonetheless. Networking is extremely important while a company is in business, but it should be put into motion even before you open your doors. While other marketing is great, networking is something easy and free. If you don't have the budget to market too intensely, networking can solve your customer woes.
- Offer Deals - Finally, it's a great idea to offer special deals opening day. If you can market these deals, you are sure to grab customers right away.
The most important thing to remember is that a business is nothing without customers and clients. Although the start of a restaurant is overwhelming, grabbing those initial customers may not be as difficult as you might think. Stay calm and follow some of the tips above and your company will be batting 500 opening day.
Photo Credit: agentorangerecords.blogspot.com
Amanda DiSilvestro is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including restaurants in DC. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading restaurant guide of establishments.