Franchise Grand Opening Best Practices
Billboards. Cameras. Ads.
It’s time to announce and plan your grand opening. Whether it’s your first franchise or your 100th, we know this exciting milestone can be nerve racking. Luckily, there are resources to support you in creating a successful event.
First off, your franchisor should be there to support you. They’ve been through this countless times and know what makes a good opening and a bad one. They may provide details such as timelines and procedures, but also provide marketing materials and standard press release templates. Your success is their success.
When planning for the event, it’s important to remember that first impressions are everything. From the staff you’ve hired to the cleanliness to the music you play and food you give away, it all makes an impact. Keep those factors in mind as you go through the steps below.
Remember, your franchise grand opening sets the stage for your next year of business. While it can be difficult to give away free food, it can also pay dividends by attracting people to your location. Be sure to properly account for all expenses and think about what will provide a positive ROI (think about social shares – not just money!).
The entertainment to choose depends on your audience. If it’s a fitness studio, offer free classes throughout the day or offer free consultations. If you’re a family-friendly QSR, face-painters, jump castles, and live music is the better choice for attracting attendees.
This is one of the main reasons local consumers attend grand openings. The promise of free food for a year or free class passes garners attention. One way to make the most of giveaways is to space them out throughout the event and announce the winners on the spot. This way you can get pictures of them for promotions and create a loyal customer.
Chicken Salad Chick offers a free chicken salad each week for one year, and the next 99 people in line get it once a month for a year. This promotion attracts a snaking line of potential customers at each grand opening!
Other than product giveaways, swag items are popular. T-shirts, keychains, and even pens keep your brand top of mind for the consumer while acting as a marketing tool for those who interact with them!
Whenever a new business launches in a community, it has an impact. Acknowledging this in a positive is a way to put your best foot forward. It’s common for grand openings to announce that 10% of sales that day will go to the chosen local charity.
Grand openings can also be a way to cross promote with local organizations. One example is getting a free sandwich/class pass/t-shirt when you bring in a item to donate to a chosen charity.
A guest list can be tricky, especially when it’s an open, public event. The first step is knowing your occupancy limit. If you can only fit 50 people at a time, you may need to advertise longer hours for the party to accommodate more people. Next, one tried and true best practice is to invite your town’s Mayor, City Council members, and Chamber of Commerce.
A newer trend is to create a Facebook event for your franchise grand opening. This is a great way to not only market your grand opening, but gauge a head count of interested people in the community.
Before you begin hiring your full workforce, check out the SENTIO platform. Our Applicant Matching System is designed to assist franchises in hiring the best people by matching applicants against your best people. Get started with a free pre employment assessment for franchises account today.
Plus, as you move through your hiring process, read our tips on using social media to recruit staff members.