Restaurants and bars can be incredible places to hold parties and events. Since they are already in the service and hospitality business, they can take a lot of the stress out of party planning and preparation. However, when you are in charge of putting a party together at a restaurant or bar, there are still some things you need to consider in order for the event to go as expected. Follow these event management tips to ensure that your party is a success.
Make a Plan
A little bit of planning can go a long way in making your party a success. Planning is necessary for any event, but it may be more critical when you are in a space that is not your own. Last-minute ideas and changes can be challenging to implement in a venue that may be attending to other patrons before, after, and possibly even during your event. Consider the date, time, and length of the party and the size of the group that may attend. Then take some time to plan out additional details. Will the party be formal or informal? Will there be a sit-down dinner? Is it designed as a “come and go” sort of event, or will there be a fixed start and end time? Will you be picking up the whole tab or, will your guests be expected to pay some of the cost? The more details you plan out, the better chance you have of choosing the right bar or restaurant, communicating your needs to management, and creating clear invitations.
Choose the Right Place
Once you have a plan in place, the next step of your party planning is choosing the venue. Even if you live in a city with a large variety of restaurants and bars, it may be challenging to find a place that correctly fits your every need and is available when you need it. This may be an excellent time to prioritize your party planning needs. Are the date and time the most critical factor? Or, is it more important that there is a specific type of seating arrangement available? Maybe the availability of a certain kind of food or drink is the most important thing.
Once you have narrowed down your choices to venues that fit your party planning needs, it is time to visit. When evaluating spaces, it may be helpful to visit before they open or during a downtime so that you can talk to management. However, it is a good idea to go back later when the bar or restaurant is busy so you can get a feel for what it is like when things are in full swing.
Start Communicating with the Venue Early
Like with nearly every aspect of event management, the earlier you start communicating, the better. This is especially true when using a bar or restaurant for a party or event. Some establishments can be exceptionally flexible if they have enough notice. Communicating with the venue’s event management specialist or another contact point as early as possible allows for the most flexibility. This will also give you time to make adjustments. If it turns out that they can’t meet your expectations, you will still have time to adjust your plans.
Personalize the Space
If you are hosting a party at a bar or restaurant, you may want to make an effort to set the atmosphere. Every venue has different rules regarding decorations, but once you know what those are, spruce the place up to get your guests in the right mood. Balloons, streamers, and table decorations can go a long way to create your desired party atmosphere.
Send Clear Invitations
Hosting a party at a bar or restaurant can often be confusing for your guests. Without a clear invitation, they may be left wondering if this is a casual get together where they will be expected to pay their own way or chip in. Or, is this a truly hosted affair where the host will pick up the tab?
Try to put your guests at ease by making everything clear from the start. With some parties and events, it may be a good idea to sell tickets online for free with a service like Meeti. This can help you get an exact headcount and be exceptionally transparent about how much each guest is expected to pay.
All it takes is a little planning, communication, and imagination to have a successful party at a bar or restaurant. Get started early and create an event that will thrill and delight your guests.