Making a Grand Impact with Your Grand Openings: The UMI Approach

Oct 25,2023

In the world of large brands with multiple locations nationwide, the phrase “Bars don’t open, they launch” has become a well-known mantra. While originally coined in the bar and nightclub scene, its significance extends to the franchise industry and beyond. When it comes to launching new locations for your brand, simply swinging the doors open won’t suffice. You need a well-thought-out plan to ensure your brand’s entry into various markets is nothing short of spectacular. That’s where UMI comes in.

Planning for Grand Openings

Expanding your brand’s footprint across the nation is no small feat. Managing multiple grand openings simultaneously can be a complex and overwhelming endeavor. However, meticulous planning is essential if you want to make a notable entrance into each community and ensure your brand’s success.

Successful grand openings aren’t just about hosting one spectacular event; they’re about creating excitement in each new community and spreading the word far and wide across all available channels. At UMI, we understand the unique challenges faced by marketing teams when it comes to new location openings, and we’re here to help.

Paul Motenko, former co-CEO of B.J.’s Brewhouse, once shared valuable insights. He emphasized the importance of sending team members into the community well in advance of each restaurant’s opening. Building relationships with local charities, businesses, and the community at large creates a buzz around the opening long before the doors open for business.

The strategies we’re about to explore are tailored to help marketing teams managing multiple locations navigate the complexities of multiple grand openings and build anticipation for each new location as if it were location #1. A grand opening isn’t a success if all you do is send out invitations and hang an “OPEN” sign in your window. UMI has been helping some of the nation’s largest multi-location brands for over 25 years, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Let’s dive into some restaurant grand opening ideas that truly work.

7 Impactful Ideas for Managing Multiple Grand Openings

Creating anticipation for your brand’s multiple grand openings involves hosting various events in the weeks leading up to each big day. After partnering with UMI, our dedicated account managers work closely with your marketing team to ensure a seamless process for each franchisee/operator. Here are some tactics we’ve assisted large corporations in implementing to generate excitement for multiple openings:

1. Friends and Family Preview:

Before opening to the public, invite friends and family to exclusive sneak peek events at each new location. These events allow you to test the systems and operations while gathering valuable feedback. They are typically small and complimentary, with guests understanding that their input is crucial for improvement.

2. Show Vendor Appreciation:

Don’t forget to acknowledge the vendors and builders who contributed to setting up your new locations. Host parties and events to showcase their work and thank them for their efforts. These individuals often become your first loyal customers.

3. Support a Charitable Event:

Organize fundraising events or parties for local charities at each new location. Leverage the charity’s network for your venues and events while making a genuine contribution to a good cause. The resulting word-of-mouth marketing can be immensely beneficial.

4. Influencer Event:

Extend invitations to local reporters, bloggers, celebrities, social media influencers, and public figures for exclusive events at each location. This is your opportunity to generate buzz and excitement before opening to the public. Ensure they have a memorable experience, and they may help spread the word. If you need assistance in finding the right influencers, our network can make it happen.

5. Unbeatable Deals & Offers:

Leading up to each grand opening, distribute invitations and coupons to the respective communities and nearby residences. UMI’s S.N.A.P. Platform TM provides operators/franchisees access to segmentation data, ensuring that your Limited Time Offers (LTOs) reach the right audience. It’s crucial to offer special deals that encourage purchases, such as “Buy one get one free” or discounts based on specific bill amounts. These offers motivate people to visit and bring friends or family along.

6. The Grand Opening Party:

Finally, the day arrives for each restaurant’s grand opening. At this stage, your primary concern should be managing the crowds and ensuring smooth operations. UMI’s street teams can provide the additional support needed to make each opening seamless and successful.

7. Bounce Back Offers:

Throughout the series of events, distribute “Bounce Back” offers to all participants. These are coupons that become valid after the initial opening time frame, encouraging guests to return for subsequent visits. UMI’s grand opening kits include not only materials to meet design standards but also various customizable LTOs directly from our S.N.A.P. Platform TM.

UMI’s Role in Creating a Grand Opening Impact

UMI understands the unique challenges faced by marketing teams when launching multiple locations across the nation. We offer a wide range of solutions to help your marketing team streamline the process and ensure that each new location receives the support it needs to succeed.

Our S.N.A.P. Platform™ simplifies the process of ordering “new store opening kits” containing all the materials required to set up each restaurant. This streamlined procedure saves you time and ensures that you have everything necessary for a successful opening at each location.

Additionally, our innovative “Street Teams” program can provide an extra boost to your grand opening preparations. We hire local temporary staff in each restaurant’s vicinity to assist in getting everything ready for the big day. These teams are familiar with the local communities and can contribute to the success of each opening.

With UMI’s support, you can focus on perfecting your restaurant’s operations and providing an exceptional dining experience, while we take care of the materials and staffing needed for remarkable grand openings.


Managing multiple grand openings for a large brand with hundreds of locations on the ground is a complex task, but it’s also an opportunity to create excitement, build relationships with new communities, and set the stage for success. By implementing a carefully planned series of events and leveraging UMI’s expertise and resources, you can ensure that each grand opening makes a lasting impact. Let the world know that your brand is officially open for business in various locations across the nation, and watch your success grow.

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