The Great Hall
Grand opening ideas? The Great Hall: Grand opening ideas?
By Basil (Basil) on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:58 pm: Edit

I am opening a fast casual restaurant in San Diego late march 2004. The cuisine will consist of Cuban fusion, from sandwiches, soups, salads, to full meals and deserts.

One idea we toyed around with, was to hold three private openings to people (100+ per night) we know and serve smaller portions so they can taste several of our entrees. Then we would hold the grand opening two to three weeks after. Our thought was that these people would spread the word prior to the grand opening being that they had sampled most of our menu. Your thoughts on this!

By Ironhead (Ironhead) on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 07:35 am: Edit

I think doing "soft" or private openings is a great idea. One thing you may want to consider, however, is serving your food to your guests at these "practice" openings exactly the way you would to paying customers. If you do three of them like you say, that will give you three chances to iron out or at least formulate a game plan for correcting any problems your staff will have when you actually open to the public.

As far as a kick off for your restaurant: A Cuban place opened not far from my house not long ago. They got a permit, built a stage right next to the building and had a band playing Cuban music. The place was packed and there were a pile of people outside listening to the band as well. It really looked like a good time. My wife and I would have stopped if not for a sleepy 2 year old who needed to get home to her bed.

By Basil (Basil) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 11:36 am: Edit

Ironhead, thankyou for the input, especially the live band idea, I think that it would also work for us. Thanks again, Basil

By Coyoteshivers (Coyoteshivers) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Jef D. is tht you useing the Basil nickname?

By Basil (Basil) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 07:13 pm: Edit

I am afraid not, it is my actual name.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 09:30 pm: Edit

What is Cuban fusion?
I see you have Miami Grille in the e-mail address, do you live in Miami now?
How about Mojitos with the live band?!!!

By Basil (Basil) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 01:29 am: Edit

We are introducing Cuban fusion as a mix of Cuban and other Caribbean cuisine fused with Asian dishes. I live in San Diego. As for the Mojitos, that is a great idea. Thanks

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 09:59 am: Edit

Just don't go overboard, too many Chefs abuse the term "fusion" as an excuse for whatever it is they create!
Simple cooking is the best cooking especially with Cuban food and Caribbean!

By Ironhead (Ironhead) on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 02:39 pm: Edit

Ah yes Manny, there is a fine line between fusion and conFUSION cuisine!

By Chef4u (Chef4u) on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 01:49 pm: Edit

I agree with the live band concept as we did that for our grand opening. However I dint have it in the budget to pay a band. I found that by having our grand opening during the week i found several bands that would play for free just for the exposure and a tip jar. Although I had to plop down some $$ to promo them which I had to do anyway for the grand opening they got exposure and were able to promo their next gig which helped them out as well as me! Good luck all you have to do is ask them what can they say?

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