Events can be a lucrative revenue stream for bars and restaurants. First of all, you can charge a premium for tickets, food, and drinks during events. Second, when your events go well, attendees are likely to return as diners.
While restaurant events can be moneymakers, it can be easy to miss several critical strategies for optimizing your profits from them. Here are five simple things you can do to maximize revenue from your events:
Minimize revenue loss on no-shows
Personalize guest outreach
Promote restaurant events through Google
Create Facebook events
Find an events platform that integrates with your reservation and CRM system
1. Minimize revenue loss on no-shows
No-shows can significantly impact your revenue for holidays or promotional events for restaurants, like a Superbowl watch party or Mother’s Day. If you stop accepting reservations after your event books out solid, you may not be able to find last-minute replacements for no-shows. Sadly, you won’t be able to recoup the revenue you expected to generate from them, either.
Pro tip: Some reservations systems like SevenRooms allow you to require a credit card at the time of booking so that you can uphold your no-show and cancellation policy.
Minimize revenue loss for restaurant events by:
Selling tickets – Sell tickets to events instead of accepting reservations for free. With ticketed events, you make money even if customers don’t show up. Just make sure to include your no-show policy on your events page so that customers aren’t angry when you don’t refund them for their tickets.
Setting minimums – Alternatively, you can set minimums per table or person during your bar or restaurant events. Look at comedy clubs for an example of what to do. They typically charge for tickets and make customers purchase several drinks or spend a certain amount of money on refreshments during the show. Create a similar policy for your restaurant events to guarantee a certain amount of revenue.
Requiring payment information to make reservations – If a party doesn’t show up and you have their payment information on file, you can charge them a no-show fee to recoup some of the revenue you lost. Just make sure to be upfront about such fees in your booking policies.
Implement one of these methods or use them all for maximum protection against revenue loss caused by event no-shows.
2. Personalize customer outreach to attract the right guests
Your restaurant’s CRM is a treasure trove of guest information that can help you find customers who will be interested in your events.
Let’s say you own a wine bar and plan an event that will focus on Spanish wine and food. You can look in your CRM and search for customers who you’ve tagged as enjoying Spanish wine and food. If your CRM integrates with your POS, you can even see which guests have ordered Spanish cuisine in the past. Email these Spanish food and wine lovers invitations to your event.
When you target your event outreach, you’re more likely to reach guests who will attend, saving you time from reaching out to people who won’t come. After all, 91% of customers are more likely to patronize businesses that provide personalized offers than businesses that send general marketing messages.
3. Promote restaurants on Google to increase event attendance
Did you know that nine in 10 digital experiences start with a search engine? Google is the first place many people go when browsing the web. It’s also an incredibly popular way for customers to find places to eat and events to attend.
Google My Business listings are excellent tools you can use to promote restaurants on Google. Use yours to share events with people who are searching for your establishment. Google lets you include a call-to-action button to encourage signups and allows you to link directly to your registration page from your listing.
When you partner with a direct tech partner for your promotional events for restaurants, you can control the branding and messaging and process ticket sales directly from your website or event page.
4. Increase event attendance even further by creating a Facebook event
When you create Facebook event listings for your restaurant events, you can get them seen by more people. Facebook, after all, is a social network. When you use the Facebook events feature, you make it easy for people to share the event with their friends.
Furthermore, Facebook can offer your event to people who like your restaurant or events similar to the one you’re hosting.
Don’t forget to include a link to your ticketing platform to facilitate sales.
Pro tip: Increase event attendance by creating a Facebook post about the event and promoting it to people in the area with some ad dollars.
5. Find an events platform that integrates with your reservation & CRM system
You already collect data about your non-event guests, which you can use to provide them with better customer service. Why miss out on getting to know your event guests?
An events platform that integrates with your restaurant reservation and CRM system lets you save information about your event guests. When your system can keep track of guests that attended your events, it’s easier to know whom to invite to similar events in the future or target with offers to join you for traditional dining.
With this integration capability, you get the full picture of your guests across their dining reservations, take out orders, event attendance, and their spending, so that you can market to them accordingly and make their experiences with your restaurant brand more memorable.
The bottom line: With a few small adjustments, you can maximize your restaurant events revenue
Dine-in service, takeout sales, catering, and merchandise sales aren’t the only ways for restaurants and bars to make money. Restaurant events present another money-making opportunity for your business. The more revenue streams you have, the more secure your business will be if one of them suffers.
Having a revenue optimization strategy for events is just as important as planning and pulling off a memorable celebration. When you minimize revenue loss from no-shows, personalize your marketing efforts, promote events via Google and Facebook events, and use an events platform that integrates with your reservation and CRM system, you’ll strike gold.
Learn more about SevenRooms’ restaurant reservation and CRM system. Request a demo today.