6 Tips For Planning Holiday Ticketed Events
October 25, 2022
Spread a little holiday cheer and drive additional revenue with easy-to-manage ticketed events.
We all know the holiday season is the busiest time for businesses, especially restaurants. In addition to the increase in reservations, private events, catering requests and holiday shopping, restaurants also want to offer diners unique holiday experiences. One opportunity to bring a little holiday cheer to business and diner experiences is offering one-off holiday-themed events.
Organizing ticketed events can initially seem daunting, but adding at least one holiday event in the season can increase revenue, brand awareness and diner experience. With BentoBox's Online Ticketing, restaurants can sell tickets on their website, manage event details and grow diner relationships well after the event.
Here are six tips for planning an event this holiday season that is easy to manage in-house, drives revenue and enhances the diner experience.
1. Host an event on the slowest day of business.
Plan a hosted event on a day during the week that is the slowest at your restaurant. Choosing a slower day does more than creating a more manageable schedule for staff and operations. It drives additional revenue for the week, introduces new diners to your restaurant who might return later in the week or month and minimizes restricting reservations for event space.
2. Consider how the event effects reservations.
Plan your events so they don’t crowd out your normal business. If your restaurant does not have a dedicated event space, evaluate where in the dining room makes the most sense for an event with minimal impact on reservations and daily revenue. The goal of a hosted event is to drive revenue on top of daily cash flow, not to decrease revenue or break even after having done more work. The space you have available for events will determine the size of the event hosted.
3. Partner with community-organized events.
During the holidays, most communities organize holiday events and festivals. If the community your restaurant is in is hosting a community-wide event, take this opportunity to join in the festivities with a ticketed event. The joint partnership helps promote the event, ticket sales, and brand awareness and contributes to community support.
Ideas for community-organized events can be:
Pre-festival dinner organized to kick-off the community-wide event.
Group ticket sales with dinner before guests attend a holiday show.
Post-festival dessert and cocktail party.
One-off holiday-themed pop-up.
4. Keep the event small and intimate.
Hosting a ticketed holiday event doesn’t have to be a large shindig. Smaller holiday events can have the same revenue and brand awareness impact as large events with less operational management and executions. The benefits of smaller events are higher ticket prices because of limited space and providing more menu creativity for less cost.
Creative ideas for smaller holidays events can be:
Guided holiday dinner and wine pairing with the chef and sommelier
Holiday cocktail class with bar manager.
Gingerbread house class with the pastry chef.
Dinner inspired by the chef’s family traditions.
Thanksgiving Eve or Christmas Eve mixer to escape the family.
5. Create recurring cash flow with an event series.
If you can’t narrow down event ideas to one or two, consider a series of smaller holiday events throughout the season. A series of smaller events can increase holiday cash flow, build brand awareness and establish your restaurant as a holiday go-to for diners.
A few creative small holiday event series are:
Collaborative dinner series with guest chefs, cookbook authors or food content creators.
Holiday-themed baking classes.
Dinner Series featuring menus created by sous chefs, chef de cuisines and other staff members.
6. Host one large event and make it meaningful.
If your restaurant has a private dining room or a space large enough to host events that doesn’t directly impact daily business and guest experience, consider hosting one large holiday event. A larger event doesn’t necessarily mean hosting on a night the restaurant is closed or impacting reservations with a partially closed dining room. Instead, a more significant event can be a grander menu for more guests with a few more memorable embellishments.
Larger holiday event ideas can be:
Host an authentic Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Fun and festive cocktail supper.
Thanksgiving Eve or Christmas Eve dinner.
Victorian-era Christmas party.
Holiday dinner inspired by the concept’s cuisine.
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