Why are some openings ‘grand’ and others less so?
At every Chick-fil-A Restaurant opening, the first 100 customers win one Chick-fil-A Meal per week for a year. The promotion regularly draws crowds of overnight campers and heavy coverage by the local media.
Chick-fil-A has given away more than $26 million in food since its "First 100 in Line" promotion started in 2003. To assure a local focus, the giveaway is open only to adults residing in zip codes within about 25 miles of the restaurant.
"Each Chick-fil-A restaurant is locally owned and operated," explains the restaurant. "The First 100 celebration is our owner-operators’ introduction to the local community. We want to ensure those neighbors, whom we’ll be serving at that location in the future, have a seat at the table in welcoming and getting to know their neighborhood Chick-fil-A."
Many other stores and restaurants also hold grand opening celebrations with giveaways, raffles, DJs, celebrities and other fanfare. Few match the frenzy created by Chick-fil-A and many open without any fuss.
Here are a few examples of some grand openings:
- At each opening, Trader Joe’s holds a "lei-cutting" ceremony and a mini-carnival with live music, food demonstrations, face-painting and a photo booth;
- At a recent re-grand opening in Stirling, NJ, ShopRite offered the first 100 guests customized reusable bags filled with wellness products and a commemorative Chobani cup. Free Chobani Creations and gourmet holiday samples were offered to shoppers throughout the day;
- For its new store in Glendale, CA, Dick’s Sporting Goods held a three-day grand-opening weekend with free t-shirts for the first 100 customers on Friday, chances to win special prizes for other early arrivers. Saturday and Sunday featured appearances by Los Angeles Dodgers legend Steve Garvey and Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick;
- At a recent Dunkin Donuts opening on Hollywood Boulevard, the first guest in line was given a $250 DD Perks gift card and the first 50 a swag bag full of branded items. The full day included free samples, gift card giveaways and opportunities for photos with the brand’s mascot, Cuppy.
- First 100 – Chick-fil-A
- Chick-fil-A offer draws campers – Times Daily
- Lines forming outside 132-seat Chick-fil-A opening Wednesday – Dayton Daily News
- Dick’s Sporting Goods Announces Grand Opening Celebration In Glendale, CA – Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Dunkin’ Donuts Hollywood Location Announces Grand Opening Celebration – CBS Local
- ShopRite Celebrates Re-Grand Opening Tomorrow – Bernardsville-Bedminster Patch
- Trader Joe’s opens first Alabama location at The Summit – Birmingham Business Journal
Can and should other restaurants and retailers aim to create hoopla around their grand openings similar to Chick-fil-A? Why do some stores and restaurants invest heavily in grand opening events and others not bother?