No one looks forward to the logistics of making a big move - especially if the process involves relocating an established business or restaurant. Whether you are changing your address to move into a better market, to get a bigger space or because you are trying to save money, there is a lot to consider when moving your restaurant.
Perhaps you wonder how to make the moving process as smooth as possible, all the while hoping that your existing customer base will follow you to your new location. Fortunately, there are ways of moving efficiently and with as little disruption to business-as-normal as possible.
Plan to Hire Professional MoversProfessional movers are a must if you’re moving a restaurant. Imagine transferring countless tables and chairs, not to mention heavy commercial kitchen equipment, such as commercial ice machines that can weigh as much as 350 pounds or more. Attempting to move something so heavy on your own is not only difficult, but it's also asking for injury. In addition to making moving your furnishings and equipment easier, hiring professional movers can also reduce the amount of down time your business experiences between locations. Ideally, your restaurant would be closed for very little time before reopening at your new location. Instead of spending your time moving your restaurant yourself, professional movers can "do all the heavy lifting," so to speak, while you focus on what's more important - your grand reopening!
Make the Move a Big Event
Take advantage of your move to garner attention for your business. Submit information about the moving process to your local news publications. Generate buzz ahead of time by making the move an opportunity to get your customers involved in the process. For example, once you've found a new location, consider holding a competition for customers to guess where your new location will be. Give away a freebie or dinner for two to the person who is first to correctly guess the new location. Host a grand opening event and be sure to hype it up well in advance. Furthermore, make your customers even more involved in the moving process by asking for suggestions for making the new location even better than the last.
Stagger Your Responsibilities
Despite hiring movers and allotting plenty of time for the move, there are things you can do before the move to make the process much easier. For example, if you plan to hold a grand opening at your new location, go ahead and handle the marketing for that event well ahead of time. Whether you plan to run a coupon in the newspaper or have a radio station live on location for the event, handle the planning and logistics for your opening well before you move.
If your new location requires construction and design work, map out the look you want and submit it to contractors for quotes. Select a contractor and begin ordering construction supplies in the weeks prior to the move to expedite the process as much as possible. You may even be able to do some light packing before you close.
Be Upfront About the Move
Once you've found a location, be upfront with your customers and vendors about the entire process. Depending on how much work is involved in the moving process, attempt to set a definitive move date and reopen date. Be sure to give yourself extra time "just-in-case," because it’s always better to open earlier than planned, rather than later. In fact, holding a soft opening before the general public knows about it is a good strategy for making sure everything is running smoothly in your business before your customers start pouring through the doors again.
Although moving a business may seem overwhelming, you can successfully accomplish the task with the proper planning. By hiring the right help, involving your customers and staggering your responsibilities, your move can be stress-free and easy as possible.