Every great restaurant event starts with an idea or concept. It’s what attracts first-time diners and gives regulars a reason to come back.
It takes a combination of strategy and creativity to create an event concept (the who, why, what, where and when of your event) that appeals to your guests, highlights your restaurant or bar and builds buzz that you can capitalise on down the road.
In this quick guide, we'll show you how to generate unique concept ideas that will be perfect for your restaurant’s next event.
The concept that works perfectly for a craft brewery at Christmas might be wrong for a bistro trying to fill seats on a slow Tuesday in March. Understanding your audience is key to designing a successful event.
Without access to a Guest Experience Management platform (GXM) and guest data, you’ll never know exactly who will walk in the door – even if you sell prepaid tickets. If you’re in that situation, we suggest you poll your followers on social media and see who is interested in attending your upcoming event.
From there, ask yourself these questions to help generate the event concept:
With access to guest data in Superb’s GXM platform, you’ll have all of this information when you sell prepaid tickets to your restaurant’s event.
You’ll know everything from dietary and allergy restrictions to recent spending habits (for returning guests). This information helps you identify the exact audience you want to target.
Once you’ve determined who the event is for, you’ll be able to identify why you’re organising it – the goal of the event.
Knowing the “why” also helps when it’s time to evaluate the event’s performance. If you’re just having an event because other restaurants are having them… stop for a second and reconsider.
A successful event requires thoughtful planning and a solid answer to the “why”.
The event theme involves the overall tone and feel of the event. It’s different from the event concept which includes the details that make up the practical aspects of the event (like the 5 steps in this guide).
Once you’ve established your goal (the “why”) and your audience’s needs (the “who”), you can move on to the “what”.
What kind of event will you create for your restaurant?
This is also your chance to think outside of the normal service that your restaurant, bistro or bar offers. A special event with a guaranteed guest count lets you widen your offerings and explore the creative side of your chefs and bartenders.
Remember to extend the guest experience beyond the actual event. Considering every step in the journey, like the reservation and ticketing experience, can turn ordinary moments into branded ones.
As a restaurant or bar owner, the answer to this question will depend on the size of the event.
An advantage of selling prepaid tickets to your event is that you’ll know exactly how many people are coming and can plan the space accordingly.
The last step to creating a restaurant event concept is to decide when it’ll happen.
Depending on who your guests are, consider which day and time of day are convenient. Will it be after working hours or on a weekend? Keep an eye on your start time, too. If the event is on a weekday, rush hour traffic could push your start time.
When you want to attract the largest possible turnout, it’s important to ensure you’re not in direct competition with another event in your area. And remember to take a look at the weather – you don’t want to plan an event on your terrace when there’s a high chance of rain.
Whatever date you choose, make sure you’ll have enough time left to do your research and organise all the aspects of the event. Letting guests book early means you have even more time to plan inventory, schedule staff and make any last-minute changes.
To make your next event easier and less stressful, book a demo and see how Superb empowers restaurants to plan in advance and save time.