Congratulations! You are about to open your new business start up to the public. You have a checklist and have gone over it at least three times. What could possibly go wrong!?!
An ideal scenario for the day of your grand opening would be to have a crowd outside your doors waiting to get in like the holiday shopper crowds that wait to stampede through the doors of Walmart on Black Friday. That may sound somewhat ideal, a lot of customers on opening day, and it can be but chaos is the last thing you need. If you want repeat customers, you must provide them with a positive experience from start to finish the first time they visit your establishment.
Many start up businesses and companies forget about maintaining customer traffic before they come through the doors. Some well established companies also fail to prepare for this though that may be intentional. Nothing like free news coverage of people getting trampled at your store. In order to prevent such occurrences, you need organization and that starts with crowd control. Before your first customer sets foot in your new business, you need a plan:
PARKING LOT CONTROL
- Is there enough parking nearby?
- Can your news customers easily navigate in your parking lot or do you foresee confusion?
- Can your customers walk safely to your storefront after parking their vehicle?
- Are there any blind spots that need to be fixed or adverted?
Parking issues can be handled by traffic cones and directional signage. Make a map of your parking area. If you expect a large amount of traffic, it may be best to create a one way in, one way out traffic flow pattern. You may also need someone (wearing a safety vest) to direct traffic during peak times.
If the painted lines and directional arrows in your parking lot are worn away, you may need to create designated parking areas using cones until line painting can be contracted.
Now that your customer has found a parking spot 30 minutes prior to your doors are set to open, they now try to inch their way closer trying to be one of the first through your doors. You need to put a stop to that before it gets started. Some customers and crowds are better behaved than others but all it takes is a couple bad apples to turn things upside down. The crowd at the grand opening of a cell phone or shoe store may not be as well behaved as those at the grand opening of a new steakhouse or wine bar.
If you have planned ahead, you will have used retractable stanchions and created a multi zig-zag line system to keep those waiting in line.
- This prevents line jumping (most of the time)
- This shows you are in control and organized
- This provides a positive customer experience
Once inside your store, you may also need to provide crowd control at checkout to keep the lines organized. Some stores are set up for this, others, not so much.
If you are an upscale restaurant, impressions are very important. You should consider our high quality post and rope which provides a luxurious appearance. Posts and stanchion ropes can be customized to match most settings and themes.
Boulevard Supply wishes you good luck with your new venture. We wish even better luck if you choose not to establish a crowd control plan or system.