Pre-opening events must be done. This will give you the chance to revisit your original marketing plan and concept which were discussed in the concept development stage. The physical design concept will be implemented at this stage. Pre-opening events will give you an idea of how the actual event will look like. This will also give you the chance to test the fixtures and machines(if there are any) to be used in the actual event as well giving the final instructions to the staff.
There are a few things to consider in the preparation of your pre-opening event(Dr. Joe Goldblatt). Since you are to open a seafood restaurant, you must consider your prospective clients and the location or the venue. You must set your budget and look for prospective suppliers which can be dependable. There must be continuous supply of the prime products that you are to offer to your customers. The type of pre-opening event must also be considered.
You could plan for a stand up reception to show the facilities or a sitdown style or it could be just a site inspection. The guest list should be your would be customers, friends whom you expect to invite more friends to dine in your restaurant and your family. The invitations are to be handed out personally so that you will be able to get their response immediately if they will be able to attend to your event. you can act as the receptionist to your guests so that you can talk to them personally and by that, you are starting to advertize your product. Before the event is over, make sure that you have asked the guests on whatever feedback they have on your restaurant. This way, you will be able to straighten the not so good comments on the restaurant.
The preparation of the grand opening event will be more or less refined than the pre-opening event. This time, the results of the pre-opening event will all be installed in this event. It will be a sitdown dinner or something that will show them the unique food and beverages that you are about to offer, together with a superior style of service. By the time you have developed your style of service, your budget will come in next. The number of guests will be taken into account, the cost of the food, beverage and other matters are to be placed under your budget.
Your guests lists will include high profile dignitaries, professional food and drinks critics, your would be regular clients, and a few of your friends that would either give you good or bad reviews. It is always best that you hand in your invitations personally. This will be a good gesture so that your guests will remember you. Give your best effort on the opening day so that the guests will leave your place fully satisfied with a vision to visit your place again in the coming days.
After the grand opening of your restaurant, you are now to access the success of the grand opening. By this time you already know the performance of your staff. Will they have to undergo more training? Or was the performance of each and everyone good enough? You and your staff will have to talk about important matters such as the things that didnt work out well and the things that needs improvements or needs to be cut out.
If a certain menu served received a negative reaction, this time you must have to think of other ways to serve it, to be more appetizing. The overall comments and suggestions of the guests must be reviewed in order to have the best restaurant in town and some guests will be coming back not only for the food but for the excellent type of services as well.
Dr. Joe Goldblatt, How to Start an Event Planning Service. http://www.entrepreneur.com February 22, 2001