Get the Recipe for a Successful Grand Opening

Chef Fabio Viviani signs a cookbook for an attendee at a food retailer’s grand opening.
Chef Fabio Viviani signs a cookbook for an attendee at a food retailer’s grand opening.

What if you host your brand-new store’s grand opening celebration and no one shows up? It’s the stuff of nightmares, and yet it can be a reality if you don’t organize and promote the event effectively. For that reason, retailers typically go all out for grand openings, devoting substantial resources to pre-promotion, coupons and discounts, and onsite deals and giveaways.

One of the greatest ways to increase participation in a grand opening event is to include a celebrity appearance. A food retailer recently opened a new location near Chicago, and promoters decided to involve a celebrity, so they contacted Pro Sports MVP Entertainment & Promotions. We had worked with this client for previous events, securing popular sports figures to draw crowds and attention.

However, for this location, the client decided on an appearance by Chef Fabio Viviani, the famous and charismatic chef, TV personality, and bestselling author — who also happens to run two successful restaurants in the area.

From concept to execution, the event was a great success, drawing customers to the store and providing a memorable experience for all involved.

Pure professional
Professional and engaging, Chef Fabio was already a master at providing entertaining presentations and demonstrations. Pro Sports MVP let him know that the store had chosen a “healthy eating” theme to demonstrate how easy it is to make beautiful, nutritious, delicious meals at home — with ingredients found in the store. Pro Sports MVP then provided Fabio a template for the appearance. In turn, Fabio sent the store a selection of event-appropriate recipes from which to choose.

On the day of the event, Fabio met with the store’s head chef, Chef Tim, as well as his two assistant chefs, and they collaborated on the cooking demo and prepared samples to be provided to attendees. Fabio greeted the crowd, chatted with guests (many of whom traveled long distances and waited in line to see him), and began the cooking demonstration, preparing a pasta dish and salad. Fabio was extremely outgoing with all attendees, and everyone enjoyed his amiable, funny, and enthusiastic personality. After a meet-and-greet, he signed books and autograph cards. He also took photos with customers, answered any questions they had, and shared stories about his experience on “Top Chef.”

Event success
In the end, Chef Fabio’s appearance was the key to the success of the grand opening. He is well known in the area and a charismatic personality who easily attracted a crowd to the event and shared his contagious enthusiasm with the audience. His cooking demonstration was engaging, and attendees got the opportunity to sample his food.

He even handed out recipe cards — so that even if attendees didn’t come to the demo with a reason to shop, they left the event with a reason to come back. Chef Fabio got attention the retailer needed while creating a memorable and high-value experience.

Celebrities drive traffic to your event. They give people an immediate reason to visit your store so that they can also see what you have to offer, and they establish the store as a go-to destination. People might not buy anything today, but they will walk away with the happy association of the celebrity appearance in their minds — and they’ll be back.

A celebrity appearance can work similar magic for your Grand Opening! Contact Pro Sports MVP today, and book the right celebrity for your brand.

Phone: 719-227-3920
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