'Ringing' the opening bell
'Ringing' the opening bell

A lot of time and patience goes into the process to create an image for one’s new business, not only months of planning but also the organization of intricate details for the ideal marketing plan.

But what happens once those tasks are completed and the doors open?  Simple. You execute the marketi.....

A lot of time and patience goes into the process to create an image for one’s new business, not only months of planning but also the organization of intricate details for the ideal marketing plan.

But what happens once those tasks are completed and the doors open?  Simple. You execute the marketing strategy and hold a grand opening.

At the age of 53, Brian Bourlier entered the world of franchising with Buffalo Wings & Rings and made it his family’s business. Brian’s son, David Bourlier, and his fiancée lead the day-to-day operations at their Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant in Port Charlotte, Fla. When they scheduled their grand opening for Aug. 2, both Brain and David had one concern: What would bring people through the door?

Working together with the corporate team, Brian and David listened to the different marketing tactics that would make their grand opening a success.  Bouncing ideas back and forth, the Bourliers wanted to ensure the community was involved and were receiving some sort of incentive.

Creating awareness about the brand’s history is imperative when hosting a grand opening.  This year, because it was its 30th anniversary of the brand’s founding in 1984, Buffalo Wings & Rings decided the first 84 customers in line would receive free wings for a year. Not only would this bring people to the restaurant but it would also educate them about the brand. The brand also sent a street team to go out into Port Charlotte to hand out promotional cards that guests could then bring in to the restaurant, where a server would pull a tab to reveal different prizes, including free appetizers, food for a year or even a plasma TV.

The Bourliers sought even more community involvement and worked with the corporate office to plan a heated wing-eating competition between different Port Charlotte high schools hosted by a local radio station with a cash prize on the line. The franchisees also organized the Charlotte County Commissioner, Steven R. Deutsch, to come and welcome Buffalo Wings & Rings to the community.

Now that the Bourliers had a few strategies in line, and with more in the development stages, the tasks of notifying the public about the grand opening surfaced.  Direct mailing of flyers announcing the specials and the radio remote definitely contributed to the success of the grand opening.

“Everything Buffalo Wings & Rings did to help announce the grand opening has really made a difference in our everyday sales and traffic, and it took a lot of work on everyone’s part,” David Bourlier said. “We saw a dramatic increase in sales for weeks after the grand opening and continue to see more and more people becoming regulars.”

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