A Restaurant Guide to Hosting the Most Popular Summer Events
Posted: Apr. 12, 2019
As people get ready to let loose and enjoy the warm air, remember that summer can be a lucrative season for restaurants. If you have a terrace, rooftop, or another kind of outdoor space, your moment is coming. Start prepping for summer events now so you’re ready to receive huge numbers from the get-go. For speedy service and total inventory control, rely on a restaurant POS system, and follow the five rules to hosting the best happy hour to make sure your event becomes the No. 1 hot-spot.
Lavu Pro Tip: Speaking of buzz, start thinking now of summery cocktail specials, then add a couple to your happy hour list to whet guests’ appetite for more. Include your plans for the summer in the menu. For drinks inspiration, check out 2019’s cocktail buzzwords.
For a truly stress-free summer event, you want to keep the guests relaxed and the pests away. Whether it’s once or twice a week, or every day, you want to create a summer oasis where guests can eat, drink, and be merry. See our restaurant guide below for hosting the coolest summer parties.
1. The Invitation
Remember how exciting it was to get a birthday card in the mail? This feeling never goes away, and as adults, getting invited to a party is still exciting. Send out invitations to everyone on your email list, personal contact list, and across social media.
Here are the three main points to include:
What time grub is served: If the kitchen is closing early, help latecomers arrive on time by including the hours food can be ordered.
Pup-friendly: When people hear “outdoors,” they immediately hope to bring their furry friends. Specify whether or not dogs are allowed. (If you’re on the fence, you might be surprised to hear that doctors say pets pose almost zero health risks to restaurants).
Rain plans: If you have alternatives, like a large indoor restaurant space or a tent, just let people know that rain or shine, your doors will be open and to expect the same great summer-time vibes.
Second to food and drinks, music is arguably the most important element to get right:
- Don’t crank up the volume; no one likes to be talking with music blasting into their ears. It’s better to spread out the sound through several speakers at a lower volume. You can turn the speakers away from guests, turn the volume up a little more, and the sound will spread out well over the entire party area.
- Play the classics like the Beatles, Lionel Richie, and Prince—create a playlist that’s heavy with songs people will recognize, and keep the energy light with upbeat tunes. Then throw in popular, new hit songs for variation.
- If you’re going with a playlist, then make it a five-hour list. Nobody should notice when the playlist restarts.
3. Ambient Lighting
Don’t leave guests in the dark. And most especially, don’t light them up like it’s a football game. As it gets dark, the eyes adjust so it’s not necessary to bring in bright lights. Instead, hang strings of lights or lanterns across fences, trees, and the deck. This kind of lighting creates an intimate, festive vibe.
To keep guests from tripping over extension cords or lighting wires, snip old wire hangers with wire cutters, bend them into skinny U-shapes, place them over the cords, and hammer them into place.
Don’t overspend on decorations, but do invest a little time, money, and effort into adding bright, festive decorations that match your restaurant’s style. Monochrome decorations are chic, yet don’t be intimidated by bright colors either. It all depends on your space.
If there is room in your budget, buy items people can wear, like plastic sunglasses, headbands, or necklaces. Party favors like this can ramp up the energy of a dance party, and people will enjoy taking photos.
5. Maintain a Pest-Free Zone
Mosquitos breed over standing water, so remove puddles and clear away the rainwater in gutters. For the final touch, add fans. Gentle airflow should keep mosquitos away.
6. Stay Cool
Keep guests cool during long, sunny days with water-spray fans. Another easy, and affordable, option is to purchase inexpensive washcloths. Roll them up, tie with a band, and throw them in a cooling bin for guests to grab when necessary. If it’s in the budget, print your logo on them as cute accessories to take home and remember your restaurant by. Another great party favor for hot days is handheld fans. (Plus, guests will love to take photos with them and tag your restaurant; excellent marketing for your summer events.)
7. Entertain the Kids
Let your adult guests relax with a pitcher of “adult-lemonade” knowing their kids are happy nearby. Run the sprinkler, add kiddie pools, buy board games, or set up an outdoor jungle gym. Kids will enjoy meeting other children, and the grown-ups can catch up with friends without the pressure of hiring a babysitter.
Start planning now to put all these elements together, and you’ll have the season’s most buzzed-about summer event of 2019!
Check out these three ways to successfully market your restaurant for the summer.
Posted: Apr. 12, 2019 | Written By: Emma Alois
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