Restaurant Expansion: Tips for Moving Your Restaurant Equipment
You may want to move to a new location, in order to accommodate more diners. However, moving to a new restaurant location can be a gargantuan task that affects your revenue. Once you’ve found a new or second restaurant location, we’ve created seven helpful tips for moving your restaurant equipment.
Inform Your Customers
After setting the date on when you’ll start relocating, the next step is to inform your customers. To start, post an announcement within your restaurant. You can also do the same throughout your online channels like your website and social media profiles. It can be as simple as saying that you’ll be moving to a new location and reopening on a particular date, with the new address as well.
Another option to inform your customers is via email. If you use an email marketing service to promote your restaurant, you can leverage that platform to send automated messages regarding your move or expansion. Let your guests know that you’re in the process of relocating, and what services they can still utilize at the moment. Make sure to include an invite for your new location’s soft opening.
Find Other Revenue Streams
We know that relocating can potentially affect your revenue. That said, we suggest that you find another revenue stream before you move. Something that a skeletal workforce can manage. For example, you may focus on offering your food online. Digital sales are an important component of your business, so there’s no better time to invest in that future than now. During your move, you can potentially set up a small ghost kitchen at your new location to facilitate off-premise dining orders. If you have the capital or resources, you can also consider making your operation mobile, by instituting a food cart or truck to fill in the gap while you’re moving your restaurant equipment.
Relocate your kitchen equipment first or rent a kitchen warehouse. That way, your limited crew can start serving online customers immediately. You can opt to apply for online food marketplaces like GrubHub or UberEats if you think that’s the right fit. Another option is to hire a third-party logistics company that can handle the product delivery for you. The best part is that you can carry over this business model once your new restaurant location is fully operational.
Prepare For Moving
If you want to be efficient with relocating and be right on schedule, prepare for moving day in advance. Keep in mind that moving to a new restaurant location is different from moving houses. That’s why it’s best to give yourself at least a week’s allowance before moving day.
Spend the week to ensure that all your equipment is disconnected and properly cleaned. Pack as needed because any last-minute glitch can slow down the moving process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Fridge – Take out all the food, and then unplug and clean the unit. Ensure that the motor is cool before moving.
- Meat Slicer – Disassemble and clean appropriately before storing for transport.
- Oven – Unplug the oven and let it cool completely before cleaning it.
- Tables and Chairs – It’s important is that you have accurate numbers on your furniture inventory, so you will know how much you can fit in a packing crate.
- Restaurant Tech – Your POS, KDS, and restaurant management platform units are part of the restaurant equipment. As soon as you feasibly can, secure these things for your moving day.
What’s cool about prepping for moving day is that you can help professional movers be extra efficient, while helping yourself review the finer points of your inventory management.
Pro Tip: Schedule ahead for the shipping crates when everything is ready to go.
Handle the Breakables Properly
Sure, your kitchen equipment is heavy and bulky. But other than that, you have to handle your breakables like plates and glasses. Here’s what you should do:
- Clean every item thoroughly.
- Wrap each item in bubble wrap.
- Organize them in an appropriately labeled box.
- Do not stack too much to avoid potential damage.
The key to handling breakable items is to limit the weight. That way, it’ll be easy for the professional movers to pick it up. Another tip is to keep similar items together. Meaning, platters to platters, cutleries to cutleries, and more. Doing so prevents damage to your items and avoids clutter during unpacking later.
Seek Professional Help
Here’s the thing: moving to a new restaurant location means you will be moving heavy equipment. Plus, there are breakable dinnerware sets. Ideally, seek a professional who can help you with relocating. Doing so allows you to prep your new restaurant location efficiently. Hiring professionals also helps to mitigate possible damages.
Luckily, there are companies that specialize in moving your restaurant equipment. This includes your heavy-duty stoves, tables and chairs, dinnerware sets, and more.
Prior To Reopening
Like anything else, developing a reopening plan is important to your future success. You’ve accounted for the move, you’ve packed, and scheduled movers. You’ve even planned your budget for your transition, including potential stopgaps for your revenue. So, what do you do next?
Create Online Hype
Relocating your restaurant is an excellent opportunity to create engaging online content. For instance, you can create countdown posts to share on social media. And then you can couple it with updates like whether your tables and chairs are set up. You can also opt to post a photo or Instagram Story of your employees helping you move some equipment.
Did you hire an interior decorator to beautify your new restaurant? Consider sharing that process online, too. Lastly, do not forget to promote the opening of your new restaurant location. Doing so creates a sense of excitement for your existing and potential diners.
Host an Opening Event
It’s undeniable that moving to a new location could mean losing some of your existing patrons; it’s possible that they live farther from your new location. Fortunately, this also means that you can cater to a new set of customers. To help introduce yourself to your new neighbors, create a buzz by hosting an opening event.
It can be as simple as having a soft launch or something extravagant as a grand opening. Here are other ideas to reintroduce yourself:
- Offer free meals to the first 100 customers.
- Provide discounts during your opening week.
- Invite food bloggers.
Who doesn’t want free meals? Offering specials ensures that people will come in on the first day. Moreover, it’s a great way to have a community of people who can spread the message of your reopening by word-of-mouth marketing.
Moving your restaurant equipment to a new location may seem like a tedious task, but with the right planning, it’s a good problem. Moving locations means that your venture has become popular, outgrowing your initial location. Hopefully, the tips listed above can help you kickstart your moving day.
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About the Author
Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an e-commerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of e-commerce. He has years of experience in e-commerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.