The hospitality industry is getting competitive, and it is no longer enough to serve a delectable menu of gourmet food, offer loyalty programs, and provide impeccable service, to stay at the top of your game. Doing something exciting and vastly different, that will catch your customers’ interest and hold it for a long time is becoming necessary. Hosting event nights at your restaurant is one such solution. It isn’t easy to come up with restaurant event ideas all on your own, so we have for you a list of ideas and what all to consider to execute them well. These will keep the guests entertained and make them come back for more.
Apart from looking at this list of restaurant event ideas, you should also look at these handy tips to attract the young crowd at your restaurant. You need to have a clear understanding of different types of event ideas for restaurants to know what kind of events you can host at your restaurant and the things to remember while organizing them.
Restaurant Event Ideas to Attract Customers and Increase Sales
Here is a list of 5 such restaurant events ideas that will liven up the slow nights at your restaurant:
- Food Tasting Event: Invite your regular and potential customers to taste delicacies prepared in your restaurant and interact with your chef.
- Wine Tasting Event: Organize a wine tasting event on a weekday to surprise your customers with exotic wines and finger food to go with it.
- Comedy Nights: Invite standup comedians to give your customers a hearty laugh as they enjoy their meal. This can be a weekly or monthly event.
- Ladies Night: Give the ladies frequenting your restaurant some special discounts and a great experience to look forward to.
- Musical Nights: Use music to your advantage and give your customers the company of some local celebrities, great tunes, and delicious food to enjoy.
Here are the detailed advantages of each of these restaurant event ideas and what all you should consider while hosting them:-
1. Food Tasting Event
Here is a fun restaurant theme night idea; why not use the core of your restaurant, i.e., the FOOD? Food tasting events are chef-driven and usually offer items that are not regularly found on your menu. Typically, only VIPs have the opportunity to interact with the chef and be a part of such closed events.
Extending this opportunity to your regulars or other patrons is will not only make for an excellent event idea for your restaurant but also make them feel important. Most restaurant profits come not from new customers but repeat customers and holding events which will include your regulars and make them feel special will give them an incentive to visit you more.
Moreover, you can use this opportunity to test the popularity and acceptance of different items that you are planning to put on your menu and gather reviews for the same. Here are some tips for holding a successful food tasting event at your restaurant:-
- The trick is to offer something special and unique.
- Contact a renowned chef and ask him to devise a few unique recipes exclusive to the restaurant that you can feature at the food tasting event.
- Build a theme and feature the menu around the theme. The theme can be vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, based on specific meat, about promoting local ingredients, centered on a particular region, and much more.
- Create bite-sized versions, samplers, or mini portions of food so that it becomes convenient to taste for your guests.
- A food tasting event should not precede your busiest or most good nights. So, you can arrange such a tasting event on a night when you don’t get as much traffic—conducting such an event once a month keeps up the uniqueness quotient.
This restaurant event idea will not only draw new customers but also build the loyalty of your regular patrons.
2. Wine Tasting Event
If you serve alcoholic beverages, a wine tasting night can be the perfect event idea for your restaurant. It will attract your regular and potential customers and keep your cash register ringing. However, such events demand both time and effort. Here are some tips for holding a wine tasting event at your restaurant:-
- Although the best days for hosting a wine tasting event are Friday and Saturday, you can surprise your guests by organizing it on a weekday. An exciting event like this will see patrons flocking in.
- If you have a wine expert on your team, engage his services, or hire a sommelier for the event. He can provide exciting tips and teach your patrons the right etiquette to taste and consume wines.
- Make sure to keep the right glasses for the event – wide bowled glasses for the red wines, narrow goblets for the white wines, and flutes for your best champagne.
- Offer an exciting menu of cheeses and other food items that pair well with the wines.
- Avoid keeping flowers and scented candles near the tables as the fragrance might overpower the smell of wine and ruin the experience for your guests. A beautiful arrangement of glasses and grapes is just fine.
Make sure that you choose heavier wines in the winter and lighter varieties in the summertime.
Holding a wine tasting is one of the most versatile restaurant event ideas, as there are many elements you can add to it. What is more, is that it is not restricted to just restaurants. If you run a bar, a special wine tasting event that features rare brews can be a great way to tap your customer base. You can host this as a ticketed event because of the nature of alcohol you will serve and attract a crowd of named and famed people of the city. for more bar promotion ideas, look at this Guide To Promoting Your Bar.
3. Using Comedy As An Event Idea For Your Restaurant
Who doesn’t love humor; after all, people want to be entertained! Lately, comedy clubs have become an all-new rage, with guests looking for a great time along with some delicious food. Hosting comedy nights is one of the most popular restaurant event ideas that you should try at your outlet. Here is how you can execute this restaurant theme night idea flawlessly:-
- Invite a celebrity comedian, however, if the budget is an issue, engage an excellent local standup comedian.
- Get involved in the script to avoid any unpleasant or offending jokes.
- If you are planning to make it a ticketed event, make sure that you offer something extra like a free beer or a mocktail per ticket.
- Pay attention to the kind of audience that you entertain. For example, a family restaurant must dodge any adult humor.
4. Ladies Night
Organizing Ladies Night is one of the more popular restaurant event ideas in the book to attract customers during slow nights. Ladies love to hang out with their girlfriends over good food and great music. Offering free alcohol in the mix will give them all the more reason to visit you, and if your food and service are good, it can become a ritual of many to visit you on specific days of the week. Here are some tips for executing a ladies night at your restaurant:-
- Announce some cuisines unique for that night.
- Offer discounts and special offers like buy one get one free or unlimited free cocktails.
- You can also announce prizes for Ms. Evening, Best Dressed, Ms. Smile, and other such criteria.
- Conducting this event twice a month, will not only gain the attention of ladies but will also help spread your brand name in their social circuit.
Similarly, you can also experiment with men’s night or bachelors’ night for restaurant event ideas.
5. Karaoke, Live Music Or DJ For A Musical Theme Night Idea
Musical nights is one of the most conventional yet effective ways to enhance your customer base. According to a study, listening to music influences the appetite, amount of food consumed, and the duration of the meals. This makes hosting a musical night, one of the most ingenious restaurant event ideas.
You can experiment with karaoke, live music, DJ, or theme nights and give a variety of musical entertainment to your customers.
- On live music nights, you can invite local musicians to play at your location. Promoting local artists will build a positive image of your brand and also gather their fan following. For example, you can dedicate a night to a local band and publicize it on their fan page or fan club.
- Theme nights are trendy too. 80’s, 90’s, Mardi Gras, Disco, Pajama, Crazy Hat, Toga, Gangster – theme nights are only limited by your imagination.
Some more restaurant event ideas would include charity events, singles’ night; kids eat free night, open mic night, and other such engaging events. The key is to keep the restaurant event idea as interactive, engaging, and creative as possible.
Restaurant event ideas may sound brilliant but can backfire if not executed properly.
Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind while hosting restaurant events
- Contact a trusted performer- Always check their social media pages and take reviews on their performances. A lousy experience may turn your event into a failure and may damage your business.
- Involve press and media- Conducting regular events may create a recall value in their mind about your brand, and if you get lucky, they might write or broadcast a story about your upcoming event. You can also request them to list your event in the “Events” section of the city journal.
- Pay attention to the ambiance keeping in with the theme of the event- For example – you can change the lights, curtains, table covers, flower arrangement, etc. to match the look and feel of the event.
- Promote the event well- Make sure that you promote the event before and after your event. Post your invitation and all the other details on your social media and business website pages. Take plenty of pictures during and post-event, post them online, thank your patrons and invite them to tag themselves.
By trying and implementing these restaurant event ideas, you give your customers a new experience every time, so they look forward to visiting you again and again. Always remember that providing a stellar customer experience must be one of your main motives. Remember, a happy customer is more like to return and allow you to turn them into a loyal band of customers.