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When There's an Opening for a Party


In the March issue of Franchise Times, Alexis Walsko of Lola Red, a public relations firm in Minneapolis, told new business owners three reasons not to host a grand opening gala on your first day of business.

The main reason for her lack of support for parties is they take the business owner’s attention away from the real purpose for a grand opening which is to provide great service and products to customers. Plus, most likely, she added, staff isn’t ready. They're still in the rehersal mode.

So when is the right time to party?  According to Walsko:

1.     At least three weeks after opening, when you’ve worked out the kinks and made sure everyone is comfortable with business operations so you can charm and impress all of your guests.

2.     When you as the owner can confidently say all elements of your location are “done.”  You are not waiting on additional signage, lights, products or collateral. 

And when you do party, either in your location or in a tent in the parking lot, Walsko suggests: Real glassware is the classiest way to make a great impression and let your guests know they deserve the best.

Set goals for the party to help you curate the invite list, such as do you want media coverage, new customers, current customers, or community members?  And then plan accordingly.  

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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