How Long should your soft opening be?
Congratulations! You’ve done all the hard work, you’ve reached the end of the process to start your juice bar. As your grand opening nears, it hits you – you need to test the waters and make sure your operations and customer service are top-notch. Hosting a soft opening may just be the best way.
‘But what is a soft opening and why should I care?’
We’re glad you asked! Unlike a grand opening – the day your doors are open to the general public, a soft launch happens days, weeks or even months before. It is a trial run for your operations, made up of limited attendees. These can be friends and family, or more traditionally you can limit your business hours and open the doors to the public without doing any marketing for it.
Why do we do this you may ask? Here are 5 reasons why we’re all for it –
1. Get feedback early so you can fix any issues – a soft opening is a perfect time to obtain constructive feedback from guests. If you have a personal relationship with them, you’re more likely to get honest feedback too! With timely adjustments, you can improve the juice bar experience before it fully opens.
2. Refine any logistics – do you have enough staff to run the bar successfully when you are at full capacity? Do you have enough tables and chairs? Lots of questions to answer and iron out before you officially open!
3. Build and create buzz – Referrals are one of the greatest assets to all businesses. Imagine your 30 friends come in and love it. These people tell their friends, who tell their friends. Slowly but surely, 30 becomes 60 and 60 becomes 120! People love to talk, which in turn builds a buzz and a queue of customers at your door on the grand opening!
4. To prepare your staff – Inthe first stage of your business, your staff are just getting ready and feeling confident, but not 100%. They’ve had all the training, but haven’t experienced when the bar is open and in full swing, with numerous customers to serve and handle at once. It can be very intimidating at first when a business opens, eager clients run in, wanting to try all the new products and getting over-excited.
Queues can form very quickly, which can be off-putting for the staff and customers alike, forcing them work under pressure, therefore, increase the likely hood of poor product delivery. Some individuals thrive in this environment and work to their full potential, others really struggle and do not perform well at all. Hence, a soft opening can determine the teams characteristics a bit more and who works best under certain conditions.
5. Boost revenue – Happy customers turn into loyal customers, who will return again and purchase your products. They’ll also likely bring a friend and secure more customers through mouth advertising – all of which leads to more revenue and profits. It’s a win-win situation!
One last question you may have – how long after the soft launch should you do the grand opening? It’s actually completely up to you and when you feel ready. It’s down to how efficient the team was and how many mistakes were made. If you’re the coach of a football team, and you’re watching them train and play together, you can sense when they’ll be ready to enter a proper tournament. It’s exactly the same for the juice bar!
There is no time limit on how long the soft opening can be, it’s really down to how proficient your staff is and when they are ready. Do not start marketing your grand opening if you are not ready, you’ll only put pressure on your staff and increase the likely hood that your customers will have a negative experience.
In business you have one opportunity to make a first impression, so don’t run before you can walk and make it count. Make sure each team member feels confident in all aspects of what’s involved in their role to prevent big mistakes which can be detrimental to the business.
We actually have team members who can be there to help you every step of the way. We can send a member to be there on-site to make sure the soft opening runs smoothly from start to finish.