3 Easy Steps on Booking Private Events to Save Your Restaurant Business


The event business pre-COVID was booming, the average event was at an all-time high of $3,500 per event, restaurants were doing three to five events a week, and leads were pouring in.

Events are very profitable for restaurants with a 20% to 40% margin, which is much higher than the average a la carte margin of 9%-10%. The reason is that the costs of events are less expensive, as is staffing and the pricing of food and beverage with events can be higher than the typical menu.

As restaurants start to open up and can have limited seating, they should consider using their entire restaurant or their private event space as a buyout. Families who have quarantined together or people who are familiar with each other will feel safer in larger gatherings. Restaurants are perfect for this and the best part is that restaurants will generate more cash faster and at a higher profit margin. It is a win-win for everyone. 

So how do you make private events work for you? Here are three easy steps:

  1. Use marketing tools like Facebook, Instagram, and your own website to let people know that you are doing private events. Put the emphasis on “private.” Direct everyone to your Tripleseat lead form so you can manage the business as it comes in.
  2. Don’t use minimum food and beverage; instead, charge a rental fee. If you use F&B minimum, no one is going to be able to hit it and it puts too much pressure on your customer. Rental is a better idea because rental fees go straight to the bottom line.
  3. Limit your banquet menu and do packages. Packages are easier to manage and will alert your customer that they are not ordering off the usual menu but a package. Get creative with the packages you offer.

Follow these three easy steps and you will see your “private” event business and cash take off.

Need more ideas?

Check out these blog posts to find out how to drive business post-lockdown: Four Creative Ways Restaurants are Driving Revenue After Reopening, How Venues are Reinventing Their Spaces After Lockdown, and How to Sell Your Venue to Event Clients When You Can’t Meet in Person.