How can restaurants capitalize on the holiday and festive period?
One answer to this question is to focus on special, one-off events that help make your venue stand out from the crowd.
There are many different ideas for the types of event venues can capitalize on, from the traditional Christmas dinner-style events to more creative ideas like ugly sweater parties.
For more ideas for holiday events check out our guide to festive marketing ideas.
In a crowded marketplace, and a saturated time of the year for events generally, restaurants look for ways to tip the balance in their favor when trying to turn their festive events into a success.
When someone has paid in advance they are much more likely to show up. So one of the keys to successful events is guaranteed attendance through ticketing.
This applies to restaurants just as much as any other type of venue and restaurants are looking beyond reservations when it comes to running dining-related events.
How to Maximize Your Holiday Events Revenue
Pre-selling events offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Less no shows: Pre-selling means people will be paying for their table/spot in advance, so they’re more likely to show up than if they made an unpaid reservation.
- Better experiences: Pre-paid events can help you streamline restaurant operations. Because you’ll know how many people are going to show up (based on the number of tickets sold), you can prep up the kitchen, staff, and other areas of your restaurant to deliver exceptional experiences.
- Upfront Revenue: Planning and executing events costs money. Pre-selling means revenue is booked before the event takes place giving you more time to plan and removing some of the capital risks of investing in the event in the first place.
Why You Need an Integrated Restaurant Payment System
The most powerful way for restaurants to manage pre-selling events is to run their whole payments workflow through their reservation and guest management system.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- Faster operations and less mess: Managing reservations and payments from different systems inevitably is a messy process. Transferring details between systems takes up a lot of admin time and operationally leads to errors and wasted time.
- Manage events like you would any other shift: One of the huge benefits of payment integration is using your standard operating procedure to manage events. A good reservation system will have payments integrated into the shift management tool meaning you'll be able to create a custom shift for your event, set your payment requirements, and manage the reservations just as you would with a standard shift.
- Payments are tied to your guest database: You want to know if previous restaurant guests have signed up for your event. An integrated payment system gives you the power to know this. It also allows you to keep track of guests who have been to your events in the past - an excellent target for future event marketing campaigns.
- Easily cancel, edit or update payment from the reservation: Things change with events and you need to stay flexible. For example, party sizes are often increased or decreased after the initial payment. An integrated payment system means you can easily see if you have extra capacity and issue new payments with just a few clicks.
- Efficient marketing: Sales analysis can provide valuable insights into your guests’ preferences and buying behavior. Having more customer data in advance, you can refine your future marketing strategy and better manage your promotional spend.