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Top Tips for Event Planning

Posted by - Last updated: Wednesday March 15th 2017

Mothers’ Day is almost upon us, and will be swiftly followed by Easter, May’s bank holidays, and the busy summer season. Making the most of these opportunities on an annual basis can be essential to the success of many hospitality businesses. Here are our top tips on how to do just that.

Scope out the year in advance

To ensure the best possible preparation for all the calendar’s biggest dates, proper prior planning is key. It’s a great idea to take some time to think ahead to the next twelve months and scope out all the significant events to come. This applies both in terms of days of national importance, such as Mothers’ Day and bank holidays, as well as more localised events. These could be festivals, local sporting occasions, or even big bookings for weddings you may have taken months in advance. Having a firm grasp on what is happening to affect your business and when it is happening is the first step towards driving bumper sales. 

Image result for beer garden

Summer bank holidays drive bumper sales

Dwell on the past

Every hospitality business is different, and an event that may cause a huge sales uplift in one may barely register at another. The best way to predict the impact an event may have on your trading, and therefore guide your staffing levels and offer, is to consider historic data. Sales patterns from the same or a similar occasion in previous years are likely to be repeated. S4Labour gives you crucial insight into historic trading, with reporting considering factors like the day of the week and weather to help managers accurately forecast sales.

S4Labour gives you crucial insight into historic trading, with reporting considering factors like the day of the week and weather to help managers accurately forecast sales.

The human factor

People are at the heart of hospitality. To maximise the potential benefits that special events can bring your business, it is important to get the human side right. Good communication between managers and employees, while always healthy, is even more valuable around key events. Publishing rotas well in advance and briefing both front and back of house teams on what’s expected of them will help the smooth running of the big day. 

Happy holidays

There is always value in keeping a close eye on holidays in the context of event planning. There is little worse for a manager than finding themselves caught between the need to not be understaffed and an employee asking for time off that they have accrued and have a legal right to take. This is particularly pertinent for businesses running a January to December holiday year with a likely conflict between holiday requests and the busy festive season.

S4Labour allows you to quickly and easily manage your staff’s holiday allowance, accrual, requests, and payments. This saves you time and effort and keeping employees happy and motivated.  

Make the occasion special 

Though the potential for increased profits around special events is huge, boosted sales are never guaranteed. Consumers have a lot of choice so making your offering as attractive as possible is critical. Spend some time well ahead of the event to define your offer and invest time and energy in marketing it well. Think about practical factors like how many cover turns you can perform, and whether there may be value in rearranging furniture. The prime table arrangement for Valentine’s Night is likely to be very different to a big sporting event’s perfect layout. You can also release pressure on your busy kitchen team through effective planning of special menus. Dishes that will drive sales but are not labour intensive and can be part-prepared ahead of time are ideal.

Featured image by Nensuria – Freepik.com

Alec Vještica

A hospitality professional who combines an analytical mind with energy and frontline experience in his approach, Alec worked in managed houses for companies including Greene King and Samuel Smith's before joining Catton in 2016. He is passionate about the industry and always enjoys meeting operators across all sectors.

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