Events for food and drinks businesses are a unique opportunity to showcase what you’re great at. Plus, it gives you a chance to demonstrate the individual character and personality of your business! Outreaching to a bigger audience with your management skills and friendly staff, events are a must!
Events should be notably different from a normal evening. They should have a good mix of passion, energy and anticipation – and great food and drink, obviously!
While we can’t help you with the food or drink, we can help you create an event that your guests will talk and tweet about for a long time.
Here are some simple tips for ensure your events are always unforgettable:
Greet your guests as they arrive. This may sound like an obvious one, but it is often forgotten. Greeting your guests at the door gives you a chance to talk to them, introduce yourself straight away and guide them where to go. It’s a nice, reassuring welcome and also a great way of starting your event differently to a normal evening – if you don’t do it normally, that is.
This one’s on the house!
Surprise your guests with a drink or canapé on arrival. Make sure it’s a surprise and don’t add it to your menu or event listing. The drink or canapé can be big or small, alcoholic or non-alcoholic – preferably alcoholic! It sets a great tone and lets your guests know that they’re going to be looked after. A small drink gives them time to think about what they’re going to order from the bar and it reinforces that something special is going to happen.
I went to an event where the restaurant had made their own elderflower cordial and they gave us a small glass on arrival. It was a pretty basic drink and would have been really cheap, but it was really delicious and people were talking about it until the food arrived.
Please do not be seated
Rather than sitting guests at their tables as soon as they arrive, ask them to stand at the bar or in the garden to have a drink. You’ll get people mingling and build some anticipation about what’s to come. It will also give them some time to admire their surrounding and helps to create a great atmosphere that will be taken back to their tables.
I was asked to stand at the bar with other guests before a 4 course dinner event. After a few minutes the barman started teaching us all how to make one of their signature cocktails. It was really fun, completely unexpected and brought everyone together as a group. It was really engaging and a really nice touch!
Before guests have been seated, or before your event kicks off, give them some details about what they can expect. Introduce yourself, the owner/manager, the chef and tell them just enough to get them excited but keep them intrigued. It doesn’t need to be more than 2 or 3 minutes; in fact, much more can become kind of dull.
This is your opportunity to show your passion for the business. Make it engaging, funny and personal and you’ll be talking to a crowd of hungry smiles.
Personally, I love music. It doesn’t have to be loud and it doesn’t even have to be noticed – but some background music can drown out the noise of lots of voices and help to create a great atmosphere – particularly at the beginning of the event.
Talk is cheap
So cheap, it’s free! Again, this might seem like an obvious one, but talk to your guests throughout the event. “is everything is ok with your food” is fine, but do the rounds and take some time. Find out where they’ve come from, tell them where they should go for a drink afterwards or ask if they need a taxi booked.
As the Owner or Manager, people will love the fact that you’ve taken the time to talk to them, especially if they can see that it’s busy!
Have fun – all of you!
This, for me, is actually the most important factor of a great food and drink event. Smiling and being polite to guests is a given; but I love it when the barman is having a little boogie and the waiting staff are high fiving each other. Encourage your staff to loosen up, have fun and to enjoy themselves. Your guests will feel comfortable approaching your staff and the energy of your staff will be passed on to your guests.
We love collaborating with local food and drink businesses to create high impact events. If you’d like to chat to us about working on an event together, please get in touch