Consumers are increasingly choosing eatertainment concepts over traditional venues that either serve food and drinks or provide entertainment. In fact, nearly one in three Americans prefers going to a social nightlife venue that has food, drinks and activities under one roof.
However, running one of these trendy venues is no easy feat. To operate an eatertainment venue successfully you have to master the art of hospitality, ensure guests are having fun and be a savvy businessperson.
Our tips will help you achieve all three of those goals, while maximizing revenue. You’ll learn:
- What an eatertainment concept is
- 10 ways to increase revenue at your eatertainment concept
What Is an Eatertainment Concept?
Eatertainment is a portmanteau that combines the words “eat” and “entertainment.” An eatertainment concept, therefore, is a venue that provides both dining and entertainment. Barcades like SPIN, golf and bar venues like Topgolf, premium bowling alleys like Pinstripes and concert venues that serve food and drinks are examples of eatertainment venues.
According to SevenRooms research, eatertainment concepts are popular for different group occasions, but nearly two in three consumers prefer them for a night out with friends. Understanding consumer trends and preferences can help you build a more prosperous eatertainment business.
10 Ways for Eatertainment Concepts to Increase Revenue
Implement these tips at your venue and watch the impact they make on your sales.
1. Delight Guests at Every Step
When you know your guests, you can provide service that wows and encourages them to keep coming back. With a customer relationship management (CRM) platform like SevenRooms, profiles are automatically created for guests when they make a reservation, or can be manually created by staff.
“SevenRooms allows a guest to choose all these different tags, telling us why they’re coming out, so if they’re coming out for a birthday or if they have dietary restrictions, we know ahead of time, so when they walk in the door, we can blow them away,” says Preston Gage, Assistant General Manager at Pinstripes in Norwalk, CT.
These profiles collect data like a guest’s visit and purchase history, feedback and online reviews, dietary preferences and more. Your entire team has access to these profiles, so preferences can stay top-of-mind when guests visit.
“A guest came in with his wife and they had the anniversary tag [on their reservation], so we were able to greet them at the door when they were checking in with a champagne toast,” Gage says. “The data that we collect through SevenRooms helps us retain the guests, wow the guests, and get them back in the door. SevenRooms helps us capture guest data and drive retention.”
2. Make Occasions Even More Special With Add-Ons
According to the latest trends, people go to eatertainment restaurants when they have something to celebrate. In fact, 43% of consumers choose eatertainment venues for birthday parties and 38% for anniversaries.
Let guests make these social occasions even more special with add-ons, like a birthday cake, VIP seating, a bouquet of roses or a champagne toast. Not only will the add-ons make the occasion even more special, but the incremental revenue they generate will make a big difference to your bottom line. Build add-ons into your online booking workflow and let guests can pre-pay online to reduce friction and drive sales.
3. Host Ticketed Experiences
If your eatertainment concept doesn’t already host events, what are you waiting for? By ticketing these experiences, you’ll capture revenue up front and will have guests’ contact information to create guest profiles and track their preferences. Once they’re in your system, you can market to them to send them offers they can’t resist.
Using a ticketing software that integrates with your CRM lets you keep track of guests’ food and beverage (F&B) preferences. With a 360-degree understanding of guests, you can suggest dishes and drinks they’ll be more likely to buy, and can upsell easily to increase sales.
4. Generate Additional Revenue Through Pickup & Delivery
F&B spend can account for 85% of eatertainment sales. For Pinstripes, 80% of revenue comes from dining sales, says Chief Training Officer Lida Ahn.
Increase F&B sales by adding a new revenue stream through takeout and delivery. Get started by adding a direct online ordering platform to your website. When you use a two-in-one online ordering and CRM solution, you can collect data from pickup and delivery orders and add them to guest profiles.
“If a guest wants to order takeout with Pinstripes they just go to our website, select our takeout and catering option and our menu pulls up. All of that information flows through SevenRooms and we’re able to use that data for future walk-ins or future to-go orders,” Gage says.
5. Stay Top of Mind With Email Marketing
It’s critical for eatertainment concepts to stay top of mind so that guests come back for special occasions, nights out with friends, corporate gatherings and more. Email marketing is a great way to stay relevant, but it can admittedly be time consuming.
With a marketing automation tool, however, you hardly have to lift a finger to arrive in guests’ inboxes. You can create campaigns that follow specific rules, like sending a welcome email to guests after their first visit, sending a “we miss you” offer one month after a visit or sending a birthday treat.
Marketing automation has helped Pinstripes scale its outreach efforts.
“One of [our] biggest focuses is guest retention. The best way that we do this is through our email addresses that we have when guests make a reservation. Company-wide we have over 400,000 email [addresses] that are used all across our locations. After a guest’s first time visit here at Pinstripes, SevenRooms sends out an automated first time thank you email from our general manager,” Gage says.
6. Guarantee Revenue With Prepaid Reservations
No-shows hurt eatertainment restaurants, especially when you have a limited number of bowling lanes, karaoke rooms or ping pong tables. If you’ve reserved something for guests with the promise that they’ll pay for it when they arrive and they don’t show up, you could miss out on profits from walk-in guests you have to turn away.
Reduce the burden of no-shows by asking for prepayment to make a reservation. You can implement prepayment all of the time or save it for your peak hours.
Ping pong eatertainment concept SPIN has experienced major wins with prepayment.
“In the first six months we had a 300% increase in advance reservations and it just kept increasing from there. It was amazing. We realized people actually do want to book in advance and pay up front,” says Stephanie Margalis, SPIN’s Director of Community and Culture.
Alternatively, you can implement a no-show fee that automatically charges the guest’s card if they don’t show up or don’t cancel within your preferred time frame.
7. Make Waiting More Engaging & Lucrative
No one likes waiting. In fact, 54% of people would leave a bar or club if it had a line to get in. If your venue gets crowded and guests have to wait for a table or lane, you can use a virtual waitlist to keep them entertained – and generate revenue at the same time.
A virtual waitlist shows guests how long they have to wait and how many parties are ahead of them. It also helps you sell by letting guests see a menu and even place an online order. This means if guests are waiting for a bowling lane, they can wait at your bar and order drinks and food until their lane opens up, rather than leaving.
8. Optimize Table Assignments
Assigning guests to the wrong table, lane or private room can decrease your potential for revenue. Look for AI-powered table assigning software that checks more than 10,000 seating combinations per second, to ensure you’ll make the most money out of every table.
9. Drive Incremental Sales With Live Spend Tracking
By keeping an eye on what your guests are spending, you can know who your big spenders are to thank them or give them a freebie to keep coming back. Since 85% of eatertainment revenue comes from F&B, it might, for example, make sense to extend big spenders’ playing time for free to encourage more F&B sales.
And, if you have spend minimums, live spend tracking can help you know when to visit a party to take more orders.
10. Let Guests Order From Anywhere
With mobile order and pay technology, guests don’t have to be assigned a table or server to order food or drinks. Instead, they can go to your website or scan a QR code to pull up your menu, place an order and pay.
If guests are waiting for their billiards table or are on the golf course, they can order a drink to be brought to them without having to wait for a server to come by.
Wrapping Up: Revenue-Boosting Tips for Eatertainment Concepts
By combining dining and fun in one venue, eatertainment restaurants have become the go-to destination for celebrations and nights out. Optimize money-making opportunities through technology, new revenue streams, automated marketing and more.
SevenRooms’ guest experience platform is made for concepts that combine food and entertainment. Book a demo today.
Eatertainment Concept FAQs
1. How can I make my restaurant more fun?
One of the most popular ways to make your restaurant more fun is by adding arcade games. Another great way to add fun to your restaurant is by hosting experiences like trivia, slam poetry and open mic nights.
2. How do I entertain guests in a restaurant?
Entertaining guests can bring the “wow factor” to your restaurant. One great way to provide entertainment is by hiring live performers. You can also offer dining experiences like menu tastings or wine tastings, or host trivia nights and create pop-up events with temporary redesigns and limited-time menus.