Your staff has worked hard behind the scenes to plan and prepare for G4G 2.0 program implementation at your facility. Now it’s time for a G4G grand opening. A “grand opening” is a high-profile opportunity to market and promote G4G 2.0 changes in your dining facility or galley to your diners. They can now experience visible changes—an updated menu, fresh ingredients, innovative serving stations, enthusiastic staff, and new educational material. It’s also the right time to highlight your facility to build enthusiasm in your current diners and gain new ones.
Brainstorm ways to engage Service Members during the grand opening in consideration of what’s important to them. It might be a greater variety, new serving stations, more high-performance foods and beverages, or easier access to choices. Grab diner interest with food-related—rather than G4G program-focused—messages. Did you reorganize your layout, add more plant-based options based on diner demand, or increase the amount of Green-coded drinks? Let diners know! Here are some tips on how to plan, promote, and launch a successful G4G grand opening.
Make a plan
Identify a date when you and your staff are ready to highlight the work done through the G4G 2.0 program.
- Pick a timeframe when you’ve implemented components of G4G 2.0, including a coded menu that meets G4G 2.0 Menu Coding Goals, optimally placed items to make choosing Green-coded foods the easy choice, and labeled menu items.
Let your staff know when and why your facility is holding a grand opening—to showcase your team’s hard work, preparation, and efforts to support diners’ nutritional fitness.
- Ask your staff for suggestions for grand opening promotion and activities.
Maximize the grand opening’s impact by coordinating with your dining facility’s G4G leadership team, installation public affairs office, and nutrition and health promotion teams.
- Discuss with your leadership (or public affairs office) what’s allowed at your facility, such as contests or prizes.
Engage with your installation’s registered dietitians, health educators, and other nutrition and wellness assets to share what your facility has accomplished.
- These experts can contribute ways to support and promote your dining facility from their work with individuals, classes, groups, units, and other programs.
Offer grand opening events
Grand opening events can attract interest from diners. Depending on what’s practical for your staff and facility, activities can range from hanging decorations, serving a special menu, offering a featured meal, or holding raffles. There are multiple ways to promote your grand opening.
- Hang balloons, banners, and posters.
- Serve a special menu for the day that features new or updated recipes or ingredients.
- Offer a Featured Meal such as a Mainline meal, salad, or sandwich.
- Host a tasting of new recipes.
- If feasible, offer a raffle or contest (check with the public affairs office or leadership per local guidance).
- For example, eligible participants could be diners who:
- Enter the facility during breakfast, lunch or other specified meal period
- Order the Featured Meal, salad, or sandwich
- Take a photo of their meal
- Try the new or featured recipe
- Complete a comment card or provide feedback
- “Follow” or “like” the dining facility’s social media account
- Taste two recipe items and vote on their favorite
- Suggested ideas for prizes:
- Local gift cards, such as the commissary
- Featured Meal or build-your-own meal, salad, or sandwich (as voted on by staff) displayed during the meal period with a sign and photo
- For example, eligible participants could be diners who:
Promote the grand opening using multiple avenues
Market and promote the event (time, location, activities, etc.) on high-traffic channels to optimize reach. Start promoting the grand opening a few weeks prior to the planned event and increase promotions a day prior to and the day of the event. Use the G4G Talking Points to help get started on key messages. Enhance your messaging with G4G 2.0 graphics and print and digital materials too. Here are a few ways to reach Service Members:
- Social media
- Installation website or paper
- Displays or message boards
- Internal websites or messaging (intranet and emails)
- Facilities close to the dining facility or galley such as the gym, barracks, or work space
Capture the grand opening for future marketing
If possible, use the grand opening activities for future dining facility and galley promotions. Take advantage of ready staff, a prepared facility, and excited diners. In addition, work with your public affairs office to optimize resources (videographer, photographer, etc.).
- Prior to meal period, take pictures or videos of:
- Staff preparing recipes or meals with close-ups of new menu items and fresh, healthy ingredients
- Staff setting up serving stations
- G4G 2.0 education or marketing signs and posters
- Serving areas, especially any new or highlighted serving stations
- New meal items or ingredients
- Featured Meal plates
- Menu boards and displays
- If able, ask staff to share their contributions as the link between the behind-the-scenes work and the food diners can select. Ask them to discuss:
- How nutrition and G4G impact performance
- What G4G is and how to use it
- Their role in preparing today’s meal
- Which changes diners can expect to see such as updated menu items, new or more serving stations, more fresh ingredients, etc.
- If it’s practical to showcase diners, capture their activities during meals.
- Show them building their own meal, salad, or sandwich.
- Record diners’ reactions to new menu items or offerings. You might ask, “What do you think of the new menu, offerings, or stations?” Or “What did you eat today and how was it?”
- Ask them to rate their plates.
Plan and execute a grand opening event to bring interest and new diners to your dining facility or galley. Showcase your team’s hard work, highlight your enhanced menu, and talk about how your food set-up provides easy access to high-performance choices.