Turn Diners into Private Event Clients — Here’s How


Getting customers to dine at your restaurant is one thing — but getting them to book a private event is another. But with diners, the hardest part (getting them through your doors) is already done! From there, you can employ five creative tactics to leverage diners into private event clients. Interested? Read on!

1. Get in some face time with diners

We’re not suggesting you pull up a chair and join your guests for dinner. However, having yourself or the sales manager breeze by tables to ask how a diners’ meal is going isn’t uncommon. In fact, most view it favorably as an extra touch of customer service. This is also a great opportunity to briefly mention that your space hosts private events. It can be as simple as letting your diners know they can ask you or their server for more information or (ideally) visit your website for details and photos that represent a variety of events hosted at your venue.

2. Leverage check presenters

Ah, the trusty check presenter. All (paying) guests have to look at it. Thus, it’s the perfect place to slip in a postcard with private event information. Pro tips: keep it simple, eye-catching, and to the point. Don’t forget to include up-to-date contact info or the URL where they can find more details on what your space offers and potentially submit an event inquiry. Bonus points if you throw in a special offer and/or a stunning photo of a past private event.

3. Make sure all staff members are informed

The last thing you want is for someone to ask a bartender, server, or catering team member about your private events and be met with a blank stare. The event manager (or the person responsible for managing events) should make sure each customer-facing employee has a boilerplate response to this question, even if it’s just to direct them to another person or an online lead form. Having an informed team will ensure that no potential private event leads fall through the cracks.

4. Offer specials or limited-time offers

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Customers love a good limited-time offer (LTO). Turn a diner into a proactive event client by offering a special or deal, since they’ve already patronized your business. This offer should be whatever you feel comfortable extending to them, but popular options are: offering a discount if they book your space for a private event within a certain timeframe, offering a deal if they meet a certain F&B minimum, or throwing in a $100 gift card to the restaurant if they end up booking and mention they heard about your private events while dining with you.

5. Invest in marketing

A top-notch private event space won’t do you (or your bottom line) any good if no one knows about it and you don’t publicize it to some degree. The scope of marketing efforts you put into your private event program depends, of course, on your staff’s bandwidth. A great first step is purchasing or requesting professional-grade photos of past events to post on your website and social media channels. Beyond that, you can promote your special offerings for diners via emails or newsletters. Targeted paid social ads are also a great way to alert relevant potential clients about your dining and event options.

Use the best software to manage your private events

Once you start driving private event leads, use Tripleseat to help your venue manage them. If you’re not a Tripleseat customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat’s event management tools and CRM features, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Gather blog and written by Caroline Cox.