It’s that time of year when festivities abound and restaurants find themselves having to cater for a variety of functions and holiday events. As restaurants clamour for customers’ attention, you can place your restaurant at the top of your clients’ mind by making sure it’s ready to cater for any size or type of event.
Showcase your space
When organisers look for a place for their event, one of the first things they think about is the space. They want a place that can accommodate all their guests and provide the right ambience. Let your client know the numbers that you can comfortably accommodate. You might also consider closing the whole restaurant for the event, so that your staff can concentrate on serving the event attendees.
To give clients a feel of your space, post images of the restaurant on your website, social media pages and other sites where you have presence such as TripAdvisor. This will help them get a sense of the size of the space available to them. You also need a floor plan of the restaurant that customers can use to visualise what their party may look like.
Some customers may make a site visit to the restaurant prior to the event. While they are there, make it clear to them which part of the restaurant they may use, and which areas they have limited access to.
Offer added extras
When hiring out your restaurant, it is a good idea to include extras such as audio-visual equipment hire. Having this as an addition to your catering will give you an added advantage over competitors.
If your customers are doing their own décor, meet with the decor team and agree on the type of decorations you are willing to allow. Remember you still bear responsibility for the safety of everyone in the restaurant, so everything brought in by the client and their décor people should not be a health or safety hazard.
Agree on a menu
In order to cater for most people in the party, make sure you serve vegan and vegetarian dishes too. Talk to the event organiser and agree beforehand, on a menu that suits all members of their team. Take note if there is anyone with a food allergy and ensure that your event menu includes food that they can enjoy.
Spread the word
Let current and potential customers know about the event hosting service you provide. Share this information across all the platforms you use both online and offline. When hosting a public event, share information about it on your social media pages and website. You can also ask the event organiser to include links to your website on any advertising messaging they may be sending out. This will allow more people to reach your website and find out more about your restaurant.
During the event, have a professional photographer capture the decor and mood of the restaurant. The pictures will go a long way into showing potential customers, what can be done with the space you have. Share these pictures on your social media pages and blog.
Create a back-up plan
No matter how well organised an event may be, things can always go wrong. You need to have an alternative plan in case your initial ideas don’t work out as you had hoped for. The backup plan should be agreed on with your client beforehand, and include steps to be taken if there is a change that affects any item including seating and food.
When executed well, event hosting has the potential to bring in customers who would not ordinarily dine at your restaurant. Providing stellar service may turn them into regular customers and get you glowing reviews. This may lead to more people wanting to dine and hold events at your restaurant, during the festive season and beyond.