Del/Co - Grand Opening?

I am in the early stages of planning a Delivery/Carryout operation. Other than my banker, I’ve only run my plans past a few close friends and associates. With enthusiastic support, they state they’ll tell all their friends and “pack the house” on our grand opening; of which I have to give emphasis to the fact that it is exclusively a Del/Co operation. Yes, I will market the heck out of this venture during the build-out, but is there really any “fan-fare” I can drum up for a Del/Co grand opening?

It is one thing to “pack the house” for “Grand Opening” and quite another thing to keep the “buzz” alive…Do take the time to read all the “good, bad and ugly” on this forum…Especially the stuff you do not want to hear…This business is not easy…It takes hard work and most of the time “deep pockets”…Not everyone can be the guy that starts with 1 days groceries and never looks back…Good luck!

Thanks for your support royser…

I hoping for a busy grand opening in the kitchen, but with 200sq ft of waiting area in my Del/Co; I don’t believe I (or my Customers) want a “packed house”. Along with traditional marketing plans, I am hoping to aquire any suggestions to execute a Grand Opening buzz at an exclusive Del/Co operation.

You’re focusing on all the wrong things right now. The extent of your ground work is to talk to a banker and now you’re worrying about how many people can fit inside the store on your first day? What about the other 364 days of your first year?

This is the problem with electronic formats of communication…communication breakdown.

Thank you for your concerns that I should focus on the other 364 days of my operation, believe me – I am…The point of my post was that a Grand Opening for a Delivery/Carry-out will be extremely different than one’s idea of a Grand Opening for a full-blown restaurant.

I enjoy this forum and there is great insight of the highs and lows of this industry.

Got it.

You’re right, it a little tricky. What about the parking lot? Is there an area you can block off to have a local radio station do a remote? Maybe set up some tables and chairs where people can get small samples of your pizza so they know what kind they want to get?

I too would tell you to go back and read through a years worth of posts here and you will walk away with 100 answers to your questions but also 200 new questions that you might not of even thought of. This board can be very helpful for many things, but you are getting a little ahead of yourself. I know you said communication on a forum is hard to “read” sometimes…but not really knowing your background or a bit more info as to what you are looking to do… it is hard to say if you should be 100% worried or 150% worried. :wink: My opinion is any business owner that walks in day one and is not at least at the 100% worried level is only asking for problems or worse. Now worried might not be the best word to use but it fits the bill. Tell us more about what you are looking to do give us the big picture. That way you will get more useful comments about ways to make your first day and your hopefully first year a success. Also just a thought…being a del/co only… I would market a Grand Opening Month not a day. Market yourself with some good opening specials but not something that is going to make your pizza look cheap or a product that the customer will expect the $5 pizza from. Offer buy one get one to the first 100 customers through the door…then after that…keep the deals good till your “GOM” is over. Level things out and keep the customers coming back for the great product not the $5 foot-longs! :smiley: Tell your friends and family to stop by this month…not all on the same night. You will probably not be able to handle 200 pies an hour your first night with a new crew unless you are just reboxing Domino’s coming in the back door. Now there’s an idea. LOL Also without any real sitting room, where are all these people going to wait… what about drinks while waiting? A line out the door? The weather? All things that might make poeple say " hey, he’s a great guy but that was one big cluster-f last night " and that’s not what your want at all. Good luck.

The one thing you really need when you do a grand opening is to have a slick setup, the last thing is to make people wait, poor product, wrong product, long delivery times etc etc. Everything needs to be running smoothly, all the problems and glitches solved, all the crew experienced enough to deal with the volume. Unfortunately for most people opening their first store they gonna have any of that list not for quite a while.

I didn’t have a grand opening when I opened shop one. We didn’t do a grand opening, we didn’t send any menu’s out, the only thing I did was a bit of work with the local paper about us recruiting, a poster in the window, then the paper came and took some pictures when we did some slapping at the interviews, drove around in my logo’d car, sign outside with the opening date - that was all. We got absolutely hammered the first 4 weeks (marketing started around week 3), it wasn’t nice, it wasn’t clever and other than having more, and more experienced staff I could do nothing else to put it right, people just kept on coming. I hate to think what it would have been like if I’d planned a grand opening. I’d have either wasted money p*ssing more people off with slow service or wasted money when I cancelled it.

So my advice to anyone opening their first store is…

  1. Don’t plan on having a grand opening in the first few weeks.
  2. sure do some local marketing to get people involved with the opening i.e. in the local paper or even the radio
  3. wait till you’re 99% happy you can cope with a good kicking then have a marketing event, it may be a grand opening or something else (theres a million reasons) but don’t do it when you open week 1.

And with regards to 'its different for a delco than a restaurants, nope not sure I agree with that one. The only difference is people stay and eat at a restaurant, all the other mechanics and things you need to do are 99% the same.