A Guide To Getting the Most Out of the Holiday Party Rush and Better Managing Your Restaurant Events
We’re full on into Fall, and the holiday season is approaching quickly. As always, optimizing your restaurant event strategy is critical to boosting your revenue one last time before the end of the year.
Whether you’re offering private parties and events for the first time or your business has been in the game for a while now—there are always new ways to streamline the management process so that you, your team, and your guests have a better experience.
To help you navigate this holiday season, we spoke with Tripleseat, a leader in event management software, to learn more about preparing for and managing your restaurant event space.
Why Book Events in Your Restaurant?
If you run a restaurant business, you know utilizing or creating restaurant event space is beneficial. To drive it home, we’ll recap some of the top reasons restaurants should take full advantage of event seasonality.
First, private dining and restaurant events are a significant revenue contributor, bringing in, on average, a 30% increased profit margin, as reported by Tripleseat. The reason for the increased profitability is that the staffing and food and beverage costs are much lower. At the same time, higher menu pricing can be expected since you’re offering a unique and exclusive service.
Additionally, unlike regular traffic, booking out your restaurant for events provides guaranteed revenue for your business and exposes your brand to new customers.
With proper event management, you can:
- Garner new revenue streams by tapping into party and event seasonality
- Maximize your restaurant floor plan during slower days or months
- Increase employee engagement by generating more business
- Manage and Reduce food waste and the costs associated with it
Marketing Your Restaurant For Private Events and Parties
The first step in optimizing your restaurant event strategy for the holiday season is to get the word out through solid email, social, and other digital marketing campaigns.
“If your hospitality business is new to offering event bookings, you’ll want to make sure potential event planners know,” Heather Apse, Content Specialist at Tripleseat, shared. “Marketing your venue and the ease of booking should be a top priority, especially for the holiday season.”
Situating your brand as the solution to what your target audience is looking for is vital to a strong marketing campaign.
Restaurants should focus on the following amenities in their advertising to attract corporate event planners and private party organizers as they search for venues:
- Atmosphere: “If corporate event planners opt for an external venue like yours, their party will provide a refreshing change of scenery and create a more festive ambiance,” Apse said.
Highlight your space’s atmosphere through imagery and keywords on your website and in any advertising you do to promote your restaurant for holiday events. Photos are a great way to show your festive event space.
- Capacity and Accommodations: “Even if a company or an individual has the appropriately sized space for a holiday party, they are simply not set up for events,” Apse said. “You offer the appropriate accommodations and logistics to hold an amazing holiday experience.”
When advertising your restaurant for events and parties, provide details like capacity limitations, audio-visual equipment capabilities, and other unique amenities like dance floors.
- Professionalism: “Hosting a holiday party at a dedicated event venue like yours imparts an air of professionalism to the occasion,” Apse shared. “You are the event professional! Booking your venue signals the company’s commitment to crafting a memorable experience for its employees, ultimately boosting morale and enhancing the corporate image.”
Part of exuding professionalism is streamlining the inquiry and booking process for your guests. As you build out emails, newsletters, and social posts for your holiday event marketing strategy—consider the user experience. Is it easy for potential guests to get in touch and book your venue?
“By implementing an event management platform, like Tripleseat, you can easily integrate holiday event lead forms or direct booking forms into your website, email marketing, and within your social channels,” Apse explained. “In fact, you can create custom and branded lead and booking forms for any occasion: holiday and beyond.”
Integrating lead forms at each touchpoint is essential to increasing conversions as you build your marketing strategy for the holiday season.
Simplifying the inquiry or booking process creates a better user experience—for guests and your management team—so you can quickly convert more leads and leave less time for folks to lose interest.
Staying Ahead of Industry Standards for Event Management
Once you have your marketing down and leads start rolling in to book your restaurant event space—you’ll want to provide a service that exceeds customer expectations and stands up to the competition.
Here are a few industry standards and trends that restaurants should consider when optimizing their restaurant event strategies:
First, consider offering a customized menu, allowing event planners to work with your events team to curate a menu for the holidays or a specific theme or occasion.
“Provide special event menus with a curated selection of dishes and drinks tailored to the theme or occasion,” Apse said. “Seasonal appetizers, themed entrees, and crafted specialty cocktails are examples. Special menus provide a unique culinary experience for event guests.”
In addition to providing a unique experience for guests, customized menus are excellent accommodations for groups with allergenic or dietary restrictions or children.
Next, as mentioned earlier—work with technology to create a seamless booking and planning experience for potential guests and your team.
“Use technology to help manage event bookings and streamline operations for your team,” Apse said. “With Tripleseat, you can easily have a process for collecting leads or opt for a direct booking solution. Either way, you make it easy for guests to find your calendar availability, space accommodations, and event menus.”
Lastly, Apse shared that most event spaces provide packages or pre-fixe menus.
Curating event packages that attract different event types or occasions is a great way to optimize your offerings and create a simplified ordering experience for guests. Packages and pre-fixe menus can also help optimize your culinary team.
Focus on Creating Memorable Events
To keep customers coming back and recommending your event space to others—you’ll want to ensure you’re influencing memorable experiences, which all comes down to your customer service.
“An event is not just serving food. It’s about creating a memorable experience,” Apse shared. “Whether it’s a holiday party, corporate meeting, family reunion, or even a wedding celebration, attention to detail can elevate the experience from ‘good’ to ‘exceptional.’”
To bring that “wow” factor and create unique experiences for your events, Apse suggests that restaurants focus their offerings on:
- Personalization: Stand out by offering personalized options like adding company logos to printed menus or accommodating special menu requests.
- Interactive add-ons: Consider offering interactive features like live cooking demonstrations, distinctive wine tastings, or a make-it-yourself dessert bar.
- Atmosphere: Atmosphere can be all necessary to create the perfect event. Consider your lighting, seating layouts, and even playlists to support the vibe of the occasion.
- Entertainment and Tech: Partnering with local musicians, performers, and audio equipment companies can be a great way to provide convenient recommendations to potential event planners. Ensure you outsource to those you are confident can work with your restaurant and event space.
There are a lot of benefits to running events, but as you can see, it takes your business model to a whole new level.
Investing in an event management software tool like Tripleseat is essential to optimizing every part of booking, planning, and managing events. With flexible solutions, Tripleseat can help you get the most out of running events and ensure you see the profit margins that make it all worthwhile!
Holiday event planning starts now, so book a Tripleseat demo today to learn more about their solutions and how they can help with your event needs.
If you need a few team members to help fill in during the upcoming event season, check out Poached Shifts, our on-demand staffing solution, to stay fully staffed throughout the holiday season.