Pre-Opening / Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business


Pre-Opening / Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business

Getting close to your business’ opening? Awesome! Feeling excited but a bit overwhelmed about it? Totally normally. We’ve put together a list of ideas to consider to help you and your team feel confident going into the big day.

First off, make sure your company info is accessible.

Launch a website and get a logo.

Your website will often be first stopping point for people who have heard your company name, heard about your opening and want to learn more. Your logo will give a visual identity to your brand and help people recognize you.

Create social media accounts.

Determine what social platforms are most relevant for your brand/company. Creating accounts for your business is very easy.

Get professional photos and videos of your business and your staff.

Publish these on your website and social media accounts to draw people to your new business and build excitement.

Make sure your business is on Google Maps.

In our tech-focused society, many people rely on a GPS to get around. Make sure people can find you!


An Opening Done Well

In 2016, the Kowalski's on Grand Avenue in St. Paul (one of Wilkus Architects' projects) had an outstanding grand re-opening. Some key features of the event included:

  • Ribbon cutting

  • Appearance of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

  • Unique, live food carvings

  • Food samples



Plan, plan, plan.

Here are some things to consider in getting your launch plans together:

What's your budget?

What activities will occur?

How will you decorate?

How will you engage attendees?



Market your grand opening!


Consider having your grand opening event 1-2 weeks after opening your space, or doing an initial "soft opening." This will help you get a feel of how the grand opening will go and if there's a need to make any adjustments or additions.


Design posters / flyers.

Place these in popular places around the area to increase awareness of the event. In terms of marketing, this is a bargain. 

Write a press release.

Send your press release to local media outlets and reach out directly to business reporters likely to cover your opening.

Send out direct mailings.

If you have the budget for it, you can find direct mailing lists for purchase that could help increase event attendance. Target people you think could become potential clients/customers in the future.

Create a Facebook event.

This is a great way to get free advertising. Plus, a lot of people these days use the events tool to find things to do!

Think about potential partnerships.

If there is a local cause that aligns with your business, think about a way to involve these groups in the event. This would attract a bigger crowd (those who may be familiar with that company but not yours) and reinforce your company values.

Invite neighborhood businesses.

Get off on the right foot with the other business nearby. This could set the stage for future collaborations!


Post about it!

Share the Facebook event. Encourage people to invite friends and family.

Share live updates on social media. Show people what's going on and they may choose to come if it looks like a good time!

Create an event hashtag and encourage people to use it when sharing their own posts and photos. To encourage these kind of posts, consider creating a contest. For example, offer a prize drawing if people post using the hashtag.

Share information about parking options. Parking can be stressful, especially if your business is located in the city and has limited parking. Share posts about parking options to ease that stress and make it more likely for people to come. 

Set out a sidewalk chalkboard sign.

This could catch passersby who might not know about your opening and lure them in!

Do a raffle drawing.

This will get people interested in your product or service, and if you ask for their information on the intake slip, you can also build your email list and reach out to them about future events.

Week following event:

Continue to engage.

You may have new people following along with your company after having attended your event. Keep them engaged and wanting to come back for future events.

Share photos from your grand opening! People in the photos may tag themselves and share them on their own feeds. This is a chance for even more exposure.



Wingstop |  Utica, NY | Project Completion


Wingstop | Utica, NY | Project Completion


In September 2018, a new Wingstop location opened at 90 N. Genesse Street in Utica, NY! The space is about 1,700 SF, and about 42 people can be seated to enjoy wings from a selection of 11 different fresh flavors.

Thank to our partners who helped make this project happen!

Owner: Tom Pierog - Bandit Holdings, Inc.

Architect: Wilkus Architects

General Contractor: National Structures, Inc.

MPE & Structural Engineer: Ædifica Case Engineering

Wingstop Construction Manager: Andy Gargia-Krupski

Wingstop Design Manager: Eleni Mejias


Wingstop’s mission: To serve the world flavor.

“We’re not in the wing business.  We’re in the flavor business.  It’s been our mission to serve the world flavor since we first opened shop in ’94, and we’re just getting started.

1997 saw the opening of our first franchised Wingstop Inc. location, and by 2002 we had served the world one billion wings. It’s flavor that defines us and has made Wingstop Inc. one of the fastest growing brands in the restaurant industry.”


Caribou Coffee | White Bear Lake, MN | Project Completion


Caribou Coffee | White Bear Lake, MN | Project Completion

Caribou Coffee in White Bear Lake, MN was recently remodeled, being the first location to receive Caribou Coffee’s new design, finishes, decor and operation platform!

The design features several wood elements, including the hanging log light fixtures, wood railing cap and fireplace mantel from Wood From The Hood, and the cabinets and trim were provided by RC Smith.

Wilkus Architects was responsible for the site survey, schematic design, design development, construction drawings and interior and exterior renderings.

Thank to Carlson-LaVine, Dunham Associates and the Caribou Coffee design managers for the partnership!