How to Promote Your Restaurant as a Rehearsal Dinner Space

Wedding rehearsal dinners can bring your restaurant big business if you know where to find it.
rehearsal din
Showcase your restaurant's abilities as a rehearsal dinner space on your own website to attract customers. (Photo: irbis stock photo/Shutterstock)

Every year, the wedding services industry generates some $72 billion in the United States. Most couples will spend an average of $35,329 on their wedding, which includes a rehearsal dinner tab of $1,378, according to The Knot.

Want a piece of the wedding revenue cake? If your restaurant is equipped to hold rehearsal dinners, here’s how to get it.

Related: 4 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Restaurant

Advertise around the web

The first place most people will go when looking for a rehearsal dinner space is Google. That’s where Cassandra Santor, a wedding planner and founder of Cassandra & Company, will typically find restaurants.

“First, we hope to know the area and have had personal experiences at the local restaurants,” she said. “If it’s out of our usual search parameters, we’ll first hit up the search engines and again, look for proximity for our guests. We do refer to Yelp for feedback as well as look for a speedy response from online and phone inquiries made directly to the venue.”

Lauren Miller, event sales manager at San Diego restaurant Quad AleHouse, said she advertises on theknot.com and RehearsalDinner.com. She also ensures that customers have a great experience, because they’ll be inclined to leave positive reviews on Yelp and give great client testimonials.

Promote your space on your own website

You should also showcase your rehearsal dinner hosting capabilities on your own website. Quad AleHouse has an events page that shows their 4,000 square foot space and touts their 28 beers on tap and 24-foot projector. Potential clients can request details about the event space through an online form or call for additional information.

“Having a dedicated page on their site for special events might help increase inquiries,” said Santor.

Advertise your menu options

rezied-plate

Create set menu options for rehearsal dinners and advertise these to ease the process for customers. (Photo: VTT Studio/Shutterstock)

Rehearsal dinner clients are looking to have a fun and relaxed evening complete with excellent food choices. Santor said restaurants should provide options for a plated menu and buffet items.

Miller and her team usually put out buffets with appetizers, salads, main entrees, sides and a bar package for a flat fee so guests can create their own perfect meal.

“The wedding day is usually a formal sit-down meal, so doing a more casual buffet for the rehearsal dinner is always a good option to offer your guests. Being flexible and working hard to meet their budget is a must,” said Miller.

Emphasize your ability to customize and personalize

If wedding planners come to you and ask about your rehearsal dinner options, make it clear that customers can tweak the menu to suit them.

“We are looking for a great menu that is easy to customize, [and] a location that provides great service [through] phone, email and ultimately in-person when it comes to the event day,” said Santor.

“Certainly staying within the restaurant’s cuisine is important, but a willingness to work with clients to customize helps add a sense of their style to the celebration.” -Cassandra Santor

“A/V offerings, such as a projector with a screen and mic, are great bonus features,” she noted.

Treat your customers right

One of the best forms of advertisement is word of mouth. If you are dedicated to delivering superior service and make sure guests have an excellent time at the rehearsal dinner, you will get it.

Miller said, “Making sure you treat each and every event like it is your own, getting feedback from the customers and utilizing every tool you can to make it a wonderful experience pays off in more ways than one.”

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