4 Ways to Prep For Holiday Private Dining

By Katy Mullet | 3 min read

We know this is your busy season, so we talked with Katie Dyches, a former event planner turned Gather Account Executive, about the best ways to get set for the holiday event rush.

Holiday Private Dining Tips from Katie

I just started at Gather in Sales this summer. Before that, I worked as an event planner at a few different restaurant groups in the Southeast for over eight years. I started in restaurants as a hostess at 16, eventually working up to a server and then bartender in college. After I graduated with a degree in PR, events were a natural fit. I love the restaurant industry, and now my role in sales helps me share my own experience using Gather with those looking to manage events in a better way. The holidays were always so crazy, so here are my top tips to get ahead of the game.

Make Sure You’re Staffed!

Before hitting the prime-time of events – usually mid-November through Christmas in my experience, you want to make sure that your team is adequately staffed and trained. Not just with event planners and assistants, but event captains in the restaurants. I’ve worked at restaurant groups that have as many as 10 locations, so having a solid team for the day of execution is super important! You can’t be everywhere at once, and you need a team you can trust on the ground at each event.

Figure out Incentives and Promotions

Incentives are a great way to fill open spots on the calendar – if you still have open spots, try running one now! A few months out, we ran incentives like “Book by this date and get a gift certificate.” Promotions are also great for following up after the event. Especially with high-end venues, I saw people reaching out in January after their event for the next holiday season. It might be a great test to send out an early-bird promotion that provides an incentive for re-booking. 

Set Up Your Automated Messages

Setting up auto-responses was one of my favorite features in Gather. Getting back to leads fast is critical to the job. Since I had a list of questions I usually asked in the first email, I started putting them in the auto-response. That way, I had all the information I needed to send a quote in 15 minutes or less while they may still be shopping around. There are plenty of other automation capabilities that are helpful for the holidays – they’re in our new Crush the Rush guide

Gather revolutionized my job. I was so stressed during the busy times of the year, and I didn’t have enough time in the day. Things like proposals too so long! With Gather documents, something that used to take me an hour took 10 minutes – it was a lifesaver!

Check on All Your Event Supplies

I also had a bunch of supplies and smallwares like dishes, serving tongs, and silverware that were specific to events. Once I got my holiday events in the calendar, I made sure there were enough supplies – especially when we had multiple events happening at once. I also liked to do some holiday-ish decorations for that time of year. I’d make sure that things like twinkle lights still worked and that we had fresh poinsettias to jazz it up. 

The busy season may be stressful, but at the end of the day, it drives revenue and publicity for your venue! Make sure you have the right partner so you can better host your guests this holiday season. 

There’s still time to get started with an event management platform to save you time this season. Schedule time to look at Gather today.

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Katy Mullet
Content Marketing Manager

I'm the Content Marketing Manager here at Gather. Outside of writing and creating campaigns, I love to try new restaurants here in Atlanta or wherever I'm traveling.

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