Restaurant Opening Tips

After working with our clients on more than 175 restaurant openings, we still get excited about each and every one. It’s thrilling to see someone’s dream come to life and be part of the process — we consider each one an honor and a responsibility.

But we’ve also learned a thing or two. If it could go wrong, we’ve probably seen it. We take those lessons and use them to help our clients have the most successful opening possible while also staying on top of the latest trends to maximize your restaurant’s exposure.

Each restaurant has its own story, its own atmosphere — so each restaurant opening must be customized to the team and the experience. We specialize in helping you craft your story to earn media coverage, create buzz in the community, and position you for national recognition if that’s your goal.

A new restaurant has a short window of time to catch the media’s attention. Keeping a steady stream of newsworthy events, promotions and menu highlights is essential to establishing a firm culinary reputation. The media will usually decide in the first year that a restaurant is open whether they are interested in covering it — both in the present and future.

Restaurant Opening Pre-opening Checklist:

Your pre-opening checking should include:

  • Establishing your online presence — website, social media and maps pages
  • Finalizing your hours and menus
  • Scheduling food and space photography
  • Updating headshots and bios for key personnel
  • Planning your pre-opening media and friends & family events
  • Planning your grand opening events

Planning your restaurant opening may seem far away, but it is important to start the process several months in advance. If you’re hoping for new restaurant recognition in national media, we begin that outreach anywhere from 3-6 months before the opening.

At Estes Public Relations, we work with you to create a timeline and help execute every stage of the plan. From photo shoots, menu editing, online presence setup, social media, bios, press kits, press releases, media invites, friends and family planning, and grand opening events — we are here to help every stage of the way.