With winter thawing and turning into spring sunshine, it’s the perfect time to ramp up your restaurant’s private events program. If you’re struggling to find inspiration to draw in new crowds, we can help. Below, we’ve listed just a few seasonally minded ideas that’ll boost your bottom line and attract a new crop of guests to your space.
Leveraging brunch as a private event option is a win-win for yourself and potential clients. Offering event windows on weekend mornings and afternoons opens you up to a whole new stream of event income you don’t get from solely hosting evening events. Plus, it gives prospects more options, especially if the nighttime slot for a desired date is already taken. Brunch events are also a great avenue to play around with inventive menu options. Depending on your restaurant, you can offer anything from a Bloody Mary bar and chef-scrambled eggs to a variety of waffles, breakfast pastries, build-your-own omelette stations and more.
Marketing your restaurant with spring holidays like Easter and Passover in mind can help attract private parties galore. Craft sample menus that will make sense for each of these traditions (keeping in mind things like dietary restrictions, if applicable), then play up your interior with fresh decor like bouquets of colorful flowers and greenery, or delicate string lights. Just avoid cheesy, over-the-top decorations — no one needs a larger-than-lifesize Easter bunny greeting them at the front door.
Just because football’s Big Game has come and gone doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of buzzy sporting events to take advantage of this season (after all, nearly 60% of Americans consider themselves sports fans). College basketball’s tournament, Opening Day baseball games, and golf Championships are just a few big-name sporting events happening this season. Use these angles for marketing, themed menu ideas, and private event offerings. These tactics can attract new and returning sports-fan guests through your doors — and boost your bottom line.
The end of March also signifies the end of the first quarter of the year. Many companies celebrate this with a team-building event, happy hour or other celebration. If you’ve hosted a successful corporate private event in the past, feel free to use this time to reach back out to your contact and offer up your restaurant as a great venue for their future needs. You could even offer a discount or extra incentive to sweeten the deal if they agree to book by a certain time frame or meet a specific food and beverage minimum.
Got a new seasonal menu, or just want to test the waters on some fresh offerings from your chef? A private tasting is a great outlet for getting guest feedback while treating them to a VIP experience. You can opt for a more casual passed-app sampling, or offer a full sit-down, multi-course tasting of dishes, complete with comment cards after each plate. Bonus points for wine or craft cocktail pairings from your star mixologist to boot.
Caroline Cox is the content marketing manager for Gather, the leading event management software platform. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success. Learn more about Gather and request a live tour at gatherhere.com.