Launching a venue can be daunting but there are some simple tips to establishing yourself in the community.
Find Your Personality: Ensure you know what your venue’s identity is. If it is not clear customers can get confused about the offering and whether or not it appeals to them. Think about your audience, who do you want to appeal too?
If you are a cocktail bar in Brunswick, Melbourne then you might be targeting young adults 20-30 years old, if you are an upscale restaurant in the CBD you might be appealing to the professional lunch crowd. If you get it right, you can build loyal and regular customers.
Your identity needs to be cohesive through everything, from the interior design to your website, menus to social posts.
Find Your Appeal: What makes your venue unique? What will attract people to come and try your offering and what will make them come back? Let people know.
Get great imagery: A professional photographer is really valuable investment. You can use the photographs on your website, social channels and, if relevant, to send to media.
Get a Website: Venues do not need to have an extravagant website but having a professional online presence is imperative. Customers usually search online for where to go or to look into a venue you they have heard about. Having great pictures, what you offer, where you are, menus etc means it is easy for people to find the information they want.
Start Getting Social: Social media is a must for most venues. Post at least once a week and establish a hashtag for your venue. Guests can then share their experience with their followers, and you can repost.
Host An Event: Consider inviting the local community to a launch. This should be 2-6 weeks after a soft opening to let the staff and kitchen (if you have one) get up to speed. Invite locals who are likely to be your target audience. This give them a chance to see what your venue offers and become your customers.
Collect Customer Data: Requesting email addresses from customers allows you to keep them informed of news, upcoming events and special offers through a regular newsletter. This is a great way of building a relationship and encouraging repeat business.
Consider If You Need PR or Marketing: Will you hire an agency or will you do this in-house? Some venues may appeal to media and so it can be worthwhile letting relevant journalists know about your opening. Marketing can really help with gaining awareness of your venue through digital channels, flyers etc.