Table-loids: Designing the Perfect Outdoor Dining Space, Using Social Proof in Your Marketing Strategy, and More Industry News You Should Know


I can’t believe it’s almost Memorial Day and soon (maybe not soon enough for some) it will officially be summer. With the changing of seasons brings a whole new set of events and marketing techniques to keep your venue hopping. Whether your bread and butter is weddings or simply the addition of alfresco dining, I’ve got you covered in this week’s edition of Table-loids.

1. Comfortably alfresco
NextRestaurants is discussing outdoor area design updates this week. These tips are timely for those of you that live in areas where patio season is just getting underway, but obviously also helpful to those lucky enough to live in climates where it’s warm all year round. It may come as a surprise to you but not everyone is utilizing their outdoor spaces to their fullest capacity. Outdoor seating and bar areas can transform your venue into the “go-to” spot for summer dining. But if you’re going to do it, do it right. Remember to include some type of awning to offer your guests protection from the blazing sun or those unpredictable summer showers. Another good tip is to invest in quality outdoor furniture. You want to make sure your gear can withstand weather and general wear and tear, and also provide comfortable seating to your guests. No one wants to sit on a hard, metal chair no matter how beautiful the weather is.

2. You want to advertise where?
Brand partnerships and in-restaurant marketing ploys certainly aren’t a new concept in the hospitality industry. Beer and liquor signage in bars, for example, have been around since the pre-prohibition era. But there’s a new marketing initiative taking over the restaurant industry and some of you — or a lot of you — may not approve. According to Grub Street, ads are arriving on restaurant menus and we’re not talking about the traditional diner placemat menu. These are brand partnerships between reputable restaurants and consumer products. I’m not personally a huge fan of this type of advertising, but I do understand how a deal like this could provide some monetary funding to venues in cities with ever raising rents. Check out the full article for yourself and decide which side you’re on.

3. Wedded bliss
Wedding season is in full swing, and as event professionals, chances are you’ll all come in contact with planning a wedding before the summer is over. Whether it’s a lavish affair for 300 guests or a small, intimate gathering, weddings are stressful for not only the bride and groom but for the event planner as well. How do you stay sane while also keeping your customers impressed and happy? Social Tables released a great article this week articulating 10 tips for planning and executing successful weddings for your clients. While all of the tips are great, my favorite is actually the first on the list: Expanding your wedding-related skillset. In other words, you should educate and familiarize yourself with all of the wedding basics such as photography, cake design, and lighting to name a few. If you learn what’s good and what’s not in these areas, you’ll not only know how to help your clients make the right choices, but you could potentially someday offer these services yourself. It’ll obviously take time, but these skillsets help to enhance your wedding portfolio and they’ll benefit a myriad of other events you could book. You may even be able to convince your venue to foot the bill.

4. The proof is in social
We’ve all heard that old restaurant folklore about a venue that was packed every single night with lines down the street and around corners but as soon as owners expanded the restaurant to shorten the wait, the lines disappeared and that once fully-booked restaurant lost its luster. Why does this happen, you may ask? Because of social proof. We want to do things that we see others doing. If there’s a huge line outside of a restaurant, then it MUST be good, right? But once those lines disappear, so does the urge to visit. Social proof should be a part of your restaurant’s or events business’ marketing plan. It can put you ahead of other venues offering what you offer in the fiercely competitive world of hospitality. Not sure where to start? I recommend checking out this quick tutorial on using social proof in your marketing strategy from The Rail.

Interested in more trends?
Check out Tripleseat’s posts on trends and information for the event industry.