Delayed Marketing

I’m curious, does anybody see any benefit in delaying your heavy marketing until a month or so after opening? I’ve given some thought to taking that first month for breaking in employees rather than overwhelming them with business. Obviously I would use the time prior to our opening to train them, but there is only so much you can train before they must take on some real experience and learn by doing.

Anyway, I’m just wondering what people’s thoughts are on delaying your initial marketing campaign until a few weeks after you’ve actually opened.

Actually, this is called a “soft opening” and it is highly recommended before you do your grand opening. First, as you said, you want to break in a green staff. They need to learn the systems, how to handle a rush, how to work with customers and fellow employees and you need to see how the flow is going to work and make sure you have enough food ordered for the busy days. This soft opening time can also be a great time to start building relationships with potential groups who may make large orders and the media. After you have been open for about a week or so, take a night and invite local media (newspaper writers, radio DJs, etc.), chamber of commerce members, business owners that are close by and those who may make large catering orders and youth group leaders (boy scouts, girl scouts, youth center directors, church youth group leaders, etc.). Invite them in for a special free “get-to-know-you” dinner. Sample what you have on the menu, introduce yourself…and be sure to pass out plenty of business cards, catering menus, dine-in and takeout menus and magnets. This can help you establish a relationship with future customers and also give them a chance to sample what you offer. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.

Some great points. Thanks a lot Tom and I’m sure I’ll keep people informed as we approach the opening of our store.