Temperatures are rising and so do people's need to stay indoors and grill out. At this point of the year, restaurants spend plenty of time strategizing their summer offerings to entice customers to leave their comfort zone and dine out with them.
However, there's one thing that restauranteurs need to know: Diners still love going to restaurants to dine out if there are attractive events! So, if you know how to prep up your restaurant to hosting some crazy summer events, you can make the dry summer months into the most lucrative season of the year. Even better for you if you have a terrace, rooftop or some other kind of outdoor seating. Before summer gets away from you, use these pro tips and prep up your restaurant to host the most lucrative and the coolest summer events.
You might organize the coolest summer party in the town, but how would the world come to know of it? Get the word out by drafting beautiful invitations and send them out to your email list, your personal contacts, and social media pages. Do not forget the importance of designing a warm and creative invitation. Everybody likes a little bit of creative touch. So, get quirky and think out-of-the-box (or even better, think like there is no box!)
Must-include things on your invitation:
What's on the menu? - Let your invitees know what they are in for. Make a brief list of things you will be serving and if Buffet, provide an a-la-carte option as well (everybody loves to have a little control over what they want on their plates!)
What time food is served? - If you plan to have a time-window for serving food, you should let your guests know about it in advance. Many people are late-comers and to avoid disappointments to them, mention the timings out and bold.
Event Spotlights - Think about that activity or event you want to host in order to make your summer event stand out. Next - Write about it on your invitation so people do not miss out on it. It might be some kind of a game hosting, or a performance by an artist, having live-portrait artists around or the like. Come up with something different and highlight it.
Quick-takeaway - One: Prepare a beautiful invitation with a brief of menu, time and highlights of the event. Two: E-mail blast it and post it on social media.
Lighting really sets up the tone of an event and it could make or break your event. Wrong lighting, too bright lighting, too dark lighting, flashy lighting - all of these can be equally bad and can come in the way of a beautiful experience for your customers. Don't use too bright lights and at the same time, don't leave your guests in the dark (well, unless it's a scary house theme). Hang lanterns and beautiful string lights onto the trees, across the deck, and in the fountain or lawn area. It helps create an intimate set up, giving off a pleasant festive vibe.
Quick-takeaway - Focus on creating warmer lighting - neither too dark nor too flashy.
After lighting, the next most important thing is the music. The volume and choice of music both can influence the moods of your guests.
About volume: Do not blast loud music. Nobody likes to be at a restaurant with family or friends with music literally blasting their ears off. At the same time, don't keep it so quiet that people can’t even recognize the song. Use several small speakers across the restaurant to evenly distribute the sound.
Choosing the right music :
A) Stick to the classics - something very beautiful about the classics is that they are relaxing and most people recognize them, so they enjoy it better. Make a playlist of classics to ensure that there is something for everyone to tap their foot to.
B) Pop it up or Jazz it up in between - to include some variety, you can have some pop music or jazz music playing between the classic songs. Folking it up with some good country music is a good plan too but you can never say how many people will actually like it, so that's a risk we don't suggest you take up.
Quick-takeaway - Play classics, add some portions of pop or jazz, and keep the volume really moderate.
One thing that adds up to the summer's beating heat is little kids and their adventures. Your adult guests will be very grateful if you can take care of their kids while they can peacefully enjoy their meals, drinks, and conversations. Have kids play area, throw in some toys and board games or build a kiddie pool maybe?
Quick-takeaway - Your adult guests are going to feel more relaxed when their kids are happy and engaged. Take care of your little guests and the adult guests would love to keep coming back to your restaurant.
If you can manage to relieve your guests off some summer heat, there's nothing like it. Use water-spray fans which can be totally refreshing to your guests. You can also use large glass pitchers to store some cool iced water, throwing in some big slices of lemons, oranges and mint leaves. Serve this refreshing drink as a complimentary welcome drink.
You can also have a couple of hand-held fans thrown in a basket, free to be used by anyone. Let your guests keep these fans as a summer souvenir from your restaurant. You can use these fans as a promotional tool for your restaurant. This would definitely make your customers click some insta-worthy pictures that they can share with their social circle.
Quick-takeaway - Water-spray fans and hand-held fans can keep the ambiance cool. Plus, the large pitchers of iced citrus water can feel very refreshing!
Pulling all these elements together might take longer than you may think. So, get started now and prep up your restaurant to host the coolest summer events of the year and become the talk of the town!