Increasing the number of restaurant reservations is essential to high profits–especially at group dining restaurants. Once we decipher what classifies group dining restaurants, we’ll go over ten tips to boost reservations, and maximize revenue and the restaurant profit margin. Then, you'll be on your way to hosting dinner and events. Now, let’s begin!
Group Dining Restaurants: Definition
Group dining restaurants refer to eateries that are suitable for large parties and events. They often have spacious dining quarters, private dining rooms, and flexible menu options. In many cases group dining restaurants will even include extra amenities. These may include things like event services and personalized features. Now, let's discuss how they can stay busy with more reservations.
10 Tips to Boost Reservations at Group Dining Restaurants
Group dining restaurants thrive when the reservation book is full. But how does it get to that point? Read below to learn ten tips on how group-friendly restaurants can secure more reservations in no time!
1. Use An Online Reservation System
A digital restaurant reservation system can easily help you secure more bookings. Customers will be able to carefully consider a date and time that works best for them. Instead of calling the host or restaurant manager, they can be certain of all the reservation details.
The restaurant reservation software can also help maximize profits by upselling additional features. For reservations, this can include things like celebration cakes, decor, or event planning assistance. This is a tactic that might not be a guarantee when speaking to a staff member. So, include it upon booking a time.
2. Send Discounts After the Dinner
One way to incentivize people to return to your restaurant is to give them coupons after each visit. This technique creates a cycle that leads to guest retention. As they receive a new promotional offer after a meal, they’ll return again to use it. And then again. If a customer accumulates enough coupons, allow them to stack the coupons for a group dinner or private party.
3. Lower Prices for Certain Days of the Week
Ever wonder why more people are opting to get married on Fridays and Sundays? Or, why some couples even choose dates that fall on a weekday? Well, this is because reports show that Saturdays are the most expensive day of the week to host an event.
There are two promotion tactics you can take from this information. The first is you can promote group dining services for the least expensive days of the week. Or, you can become one the best restaurants for large groups and private events and make Saturday less expensive than local competitors. It’s a way for your restaurant to be an affordable option without looking cheap, standing out within a niche market.
4. Offer Custom Menu Types
Allow customers to select their drink and food favorites from your regular menu for their event. Not only does a shorter menu offer simplicity to the wait staff, but it helps minimize costs for the event host (if there is one). A restaurant group reservation can result in a high bill. So if the event planner is able to select which menu items are available to the guests, they can keep costs within a particular budget.
5. Provide Event Management Service
Group dining restaurants can also operate as venues for events. With this in mind, offer guests the option to add event management services to their reservation. This can include features like restaurant seating arrangement floor plans, decor, a dessert table, and more.
This tip is a foolproof way to maximize resources and put the customer first. Over time, word will go around regarding just how easy you make it to host events. Then, you can become a go-to option for in-house group dinners and catering services.
6. Create Thematic Event Options
Want to give customers the complete experience? Keep decor and restaurant lighting on hand to offer themed events. Typically, group dinner restaurants require that guests bring their own materials. However, this is a great way to put the customer first. Whether it be for holidays or major life events, you can easily make your eatery feel more like a venue.
7. Give Extra Loyalty Points
Restaurants for large groups can benefit tremendously from launching a customer rewards program. In most cases, a restaurant loyalty program will offer perks like discounts or free dishes. However, this is your chance to stand out and implement product differentiation.
After acquiring so many points, allow customers to redeem them for group dining. If you offer discounts on the entire bill, this perk will be very easy to initiate. Other rewards can include all-inclusive event services, a free cake for birthday parties, and more.
8. Promote Group Dining Services
Don’t sleep on the idea of using social media to promote group dining services. Imagery and video footage is a great place to begin. Don’t forget to optimize the profile bios on each social media platform, point people to a link where they can book a reservation.
Want to take your restaurant marketing efforts one step further? Promote ads to your ideal customer profile. And don’t forget to frequently calculate the social media ROI. This way, you can compare your time and financial investments to boosts in reservations. If you don’t take this step, you may not be certain if your efforts are actually effective.
9. Section Off Private Dining Rooms
It’s no secret that group dining restaurants accommodate special events. During such occasions, guests might prefer a more private and intimate setting. To cater to these requests, utilize the back room. If your restaurant doesn’t have one, see if there’s a way to remodel or design extra space.
Private dining rooms are also great for themed parties. Decorating the space and implementing unique elements doesn’t interfere with the rest of the establishment. Plus, it limits the amount of space they need to decorate.
It's also important to keep in mind that for some events, a private room is necessary. For instance, events like baby showers and wedding rehearsal dinners are fairly private. This is because various activities may take place, such as speeches, games, and opening gifts.
10. Leverage Consumer Data to Optimize Your Strategy
Unsure of how to fill your reservation book? Analyze historical customer data to gain some insight. Such information will guide strategies, making it easier to promote group dining to the right audience.
For example, do people seem to book one group reservation after another in May and June? This could signal that your restaurant is a go-to option for graduation parties. Or, is there a local company that uses your back room for networking events? If so, this could help create the theme for future promotions.
Restaurant data analytics are your best friend. Stay atop of your point of sale report history to stay in the loop. Then, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Group Dining Restaurants
Boosting reservations with restaurants good for groups is essential for longevity. They operate slightly differently from regular eateries. So, there’s much to learn. See below for additional details:
Can Group Dining Restaurants Accommodate Special Requests?
Yes, for the most part, group dining restaurants can accommodate special requests. Things like allergies, food preferences, and dietary restrictions are often factors that restaurants generally accommodate. So for restaurants for big groups, there’s an even higher chance that they will.
Is a Deposit Necessary to Secure a Reservation at Group Dining Restaurants?
More often than not, restaurants will require some kind of deposit when customers book group reservations. This is so they can protect themselves in the event that the party cancels at the last minute or doesn’t show up at all. There is so much preparation that goes into restaurant group reservations, that they can’t risk losing out on time, resources, and seats.
Can Group Dining Restaurants Customize Menus for Large Groups?
Yes, group dining restaurants can customize their menus for large groups. When it comes to catering menus, guests have the option to pick and choose what the eatery will serve. But for private dining events, custom menus usually refer to a shorter version of the actual menu. This way, dinner hosts can keep the total costs to a minimum.
Can Group Dining Restaurants Accommodate Special Occasions and Events?
Absolutely! In fact, group dining restaurants are often the go-to option for special occasions and events. They have the right amount of space, can offer proper amenities, and can customize the experience from one party to the next.
Can Group Dining Restaurants Give a Separate Check to Each Person In the Group?
They sure can! Group dining restaurants can use their POS system to split the bill. No matter what the group’s situation is, there are ways to mix and match items to different checks.
Ready to accelerate the number of reservations you receive at your restaurant? With these ten tips, you can begin right now! Need some assistance obtaining restaurant tech solutions? Book a demo with Revolution Ordering today. Afterward, one of our Account Executives will be in touch, excited to take your reservation business to the next level.