As we have pointed out in one of our pervious articles, one of the best ways to create awareness about the quality of service that your restaurant offers in order to attract new customers is through opening up your restaurant by hosting events. The idea is for the people who attend these events who will mostly not be your regular customers to get a taste of what you have on offer.
You stand a much better chance of converting them into your customers if they are impressed with your service delivery during the event as well as the overall atmosphere that you create for them which should be unmatched by other restaurants.
Here are a couple of tips on how to prepare your restaurant for an event.
You must ensure that your menu is top notch
People primarily come to restaurants to eat therefore when hosting an event, you must ensure that the menu you present to your guests is unlike what they have seen and tasted before. Whether you’ll just be providing small snacks, breakfast of full course meals, you must ensure that your chef does their best possible work to make these guests want to come back as customers to have another taste.
You must ensure that your staff are at their best
Handling a large group of people at an event is never easy because you are dealing with people of different temperaments, cultures and so on. In addition to this, it can be a bit tiresome for your staff because they will be working more and longer than usual. This requires your staff to put in extra effort and work towards maintaining their best foot forward in spite of this challenging task in front of them.
You must make good use of space
Having a celebration event at your restaurant doesn’t mean your restaurant will be closed for business for other guests unless of course someone has hired the entire restaurant which is rare. Therefore you must make good use of your space so that your regular customers are not inconvenienced by your event. You don’t want to take the risk of losing old customers as you take initiatives to gain new ones.
You must prepare your customers for it
As mentioned earlier, any effort you put in place to gain new customers must never interfere with your already existing customers and this has to be taken into consideration when hosting events because you can’t afford to inconvenience your current customers. It’s therefore a good idea to find ways of informing your customers about the event so that they don’t feel inconvenienced in any way.
Plenty of work goes into hosing events therefore you must ensure that this is an undertaking that is sufficiently prepared for by your team. At the end of the day, you want a win-win result and that involves keeping your current customers happy and also making them aware of your event hosting ability as well as attracting new customers by converting attendants of the event into customers.
We have extensively covered the idea of marketing restaurants through events as a way of creating more visibility and brand awareness for the restaurant among potential customers and we feel it’s time we got into a bit of specifics on what you can do. This is because it’s not just enough to host an event you have to be strategic in the way you do it to reap the maximum benefits.
We are therefore going to share with you 5 ways you can market your restaurant through events.
1 Ensure that the event resonates with your restaurant’s identity
You must always keep in mind that not all events will benefit your restaurant therefore you must be strategic in the kinds of events you choose to host by going for events that will help promote your business. For instance, the event being hosted must be one whereby your hotel’s menu can be served because the whole point of doing it is enabling potential customers to have a taste of what you offer.
2 Allow your chef an opportunity to shine
For many restaurants, the chef is usually the image of the restaurant as it’s their ability to prepare really amazing cuisines together with their personality that will help attract customers to the restaurant. It’s therefore a good idea for you to ensure that the chef gets an opportunity to interact with guests at the event and help sell the restaurant as the go to place for fine dining.
3 Create an identity for your restaurant
You must ensure that your team is on hand to guarantee that any responsibilities your restaurant takes up in the execution of the event is well taken care of and they are on standby to handle any extra logistical work that may end up falling on their hands. When your team proves very reliable during the event it will help cement your identity as a reliable brand and this is a quality that customers appreciate.
4 Hype the event through your restaurant’s platforms
When you get an opportunity to host an event, it’s not a good idea to just sit on the sidelines and let the event organizers to handle the work of hyping the event. This is a good opportunity for you to get some brand recognition therefore you must use your various online and offline channels to hype the event and ensure your restaurant’s brand is associated with the event.
5 Take part in the conversations
During and after the event, you must ensure that your communications and marketing team are part of the conversations about the event that are going on both online and offline. The idea is to capitalize on the visibility of the event to make your brand visible as well. Ensure that all the conversations your team is engaged in are geared towards driving more traffic into your restaurant even after the event is over.
Being able to fully capitalize on an event to convert new customers requires a very strategic approach and proper planning. Sometimes it’s a good idea to bring in a consultant if you lack the requisite expertise within your organization and use the opportunity to strengthen your team’s capacity to handle future events of that nature.