Someburros in Queen Creek, AZ had its grand opening at 9 am on September 29, 2017. They were offering “free burritos for a year” for the first 100 people in line. It was actually one burrito per month for 12 months. I wasn’t there early enough to be one of the first 100, but I talked to quite a few people in line and learned some things.
The first group of people in line were there at 7 pm the night before (it’s possible only one of them were there the night before and that they didn’t stay outside the whole time, someone else in line claimed that they drove by at 8 pm the night before and didn’t see anyone).
The second group of people were in line at 2 am
The third group was in line at about 4 am
The 25th person in line was there at 5 am
The 80th person in line was there at 6:30 am
97, 98 and 99 arrived between 6:45 am and 7 am.
Lesson #1 About Grand Openings: Accepting this group as a reasonable sample would indicate that you’d have to arrive at least 2 hours early to get the door prize at grand openings, although it would be better if you arrived at least 2 hours 30 minutes early or even earlier. This is when the weather is decent and the event was well-announced in local news sources and on social media.
Lesson #2 About Grand Openings or Any Freebie Event: Talk to people. I met people in line who knew of other Grand Openings and tons of freebie information. One had experience dumpster diving in the area where I haven’t tried it yet. One was well-connected with extreme couponers. It’s a great opportunity to collaborate and share information that you can all benefit from. Occasionally there will be people who don’t want to share their secrets.
Lesson #3: Even if you’re not there soon enough for the announced door prize, it could still be beneficial to stay in line. I talked to a lot of people who were past the 100th person in line and asked them why they were sticking around. They said that a manager had come out and promised something to everyone, so I stayed in line and got a coupon for a free burrito. If I didn’t talk to people I wouldn’t have even known about that.