How to host a perfect New Year’s Eve celebration

Throw a spectacular New Year's bash with these top 8 restaurant party tips



Dec 26, 2022 - 3 min read

How to host a perfect New Year’s Eve celebration

This coming New Year’s eve is set to be the biggest party of the year. With guests looking to end their year on a high note and start the new year with a bang, restaurants are ramping up preparations to provide their clients with the most unforgettable dining experience.

It's time for restaurants to go big and festive this New Year's eve. By creating pre-launch events, prix fixe menus, and other VIP-exclusive experiences, restaurants can make this New Year’ the most profitable day of their year.

Everything at the restaurant should reflect the joyful season, from food, decoration, and tableware to desserts. And they can conjure the New Year spirit in a myriad of ways: add games and entertainment, party music, champagne cocktails, sparkling decorations, and the works!

But how to make this party a success and fill all the tables to celebrate the arrival of the New Year? Here are some tips to follow: 

1. Use guest data

If there’s ever a more important time to look at guest data, this is it. Data is the restaurant's secret superpower to manage the most important event of the year.

From having access to customer preferences, repeat VIP guests, and other important details, guest data can help inform the staff ahead of time on how to personalize their New Year's Eve service.

It could also be used to plan staff rostering in advance. If a restaurant offers pre-celebration and after-party dinners plus New Year's brunch, restaurant managers need to plan out how many servers they will need all throughout New Year's bash.

Take note: seating VIP guests in the right location is crucial. Create a VIP zone, and assign the most experienced staff to provide that next level of hospitality to VIP clients.

RELATED: Fuel your success with your own restaurant guest data

2. Upsell and upgrade

This is the time when hospitality operators should give their marketing campaigns a boost to entice guests to upgrade. Having reserved tables at the VIP lounge, hosting them in a private dining area, or having bottled service plus a dedicated bottle server are just some of the ways a restaurant can encourage guests to choose early bird packages or VIP packages while ensuring a home run in restaurant profits.

Upsell by creating a great marketing campaign on social media or sending targeted EDM emails about the New Year’s eve bash. Post a copy of the menu on all the restaurant’s digital channels with sparklingly perfect pictures to fit the occasion.

With guests ready to splurge for the occasion to have a good time, restaurants can easily upsell their higher-margin items and seasonal products to drive more restaurant revenue.

RELATED: Restaurant upselling: Strategies, tactics, dos and don'ts

3. Pre-fixe dinners, buffets, and a la carte menu

Most restaurants crush the competition by planning their menu and promoting them on all their digital channels in advance. A good practice is to have pre-fixe dinners to attract guests to book early and prepay to avoid no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

New Year's is one of the occasions in the year when restaurants can charge more for these pre-fixe dinners. However, guests' expectations are at their highest this season. Take advantage of this time to add more creativity to the cooking such as whipping up new dishes, transforming old-time favorites, and introducing sumptuous desserts and wine pairings. Some of the usual New Year's menu restaurant staples include steak dinners with hams, salads, pasta, and other carb-heavy pot dishes. Other fine-dining establishments offer luxury gala dinners using seasonal and exquisite products like foie gras, prawns, turkey, etc. 

While restaurants can go over the top on presentation and food, sticking to their restaurant branding is still necessary. For example, a casual restaurant that includes a bar is expected to offer a variety of appetizers, finger foods, and other nibbles on top of drinks. Meanwhile, a high-end restaurant normally offers a six or eight-course meal, or buffet dinner.

4. Check restaurant provisions in advance

Once the event plan is in place and bookings have been finalized, restaurants should double-check stock and provisions. Speak in advance with suppliers to purchase enough ingredients for the New Year's menu but recheck supplies a few days before the event to make sure that there's enough stock and ingredients for the occasion. In addition, review the number of crockery, plates, and wine glasses against the number of people attending.

From champagne, and cocktails down to bottles of water, make sure to keep the drinks flowing for a perfect New Year's celebration.

5. Celebrate safely

While most countries have now relaxed their COVID-19 protocols, some restaurants are still advising guests to follow COVID-19 masking policies when entering and exiting restaurants. If this is the case, add this information to the booking form, social media, or EDM newsletters as part of the restaurant advisory.

In addition, adjust the seating throughout the restaurant to make sure that there's still some social distancing during the New Year's celebration and decide whether the wait staff should wear masks during their service.

RELATED: 7 ways restaurants can deliver a safe dining experience for guests

6. Fireworks, screens and toast the New Year

Hospitality owners should maximize the venue by providing large screens at every corner of the restaurant for guests to watch the ball drop. Plan a midnight countdown to toast to 2023 and don't forget the confetti!

Hire a photographer in advance or assign one of the staff to document the countdown to post the pictures on your social media channels later on.

Once the ball drops, some guests will be hungry. Make sure there's another round of those nibbles and offer an after-party dinner as part of the restaurant service.

7. Entertainment + music

While dining, it's best to have a music playlist that would allow guests to have a cozy dinner while being able to talk to their family and friends at the table. However, switch to a party mood after toasting the New Year. Hire a DJ or create a lively playlist especially if the restaurant plans to keep the party going until the wee hours.

8. Thank you note to guests

New Year's eve celebrations are the most anticipated event of the year. After a night of merrymaking, make sure to reconnect with guests via EDM to send them a thank you note for taking part in the New Year's celebrations. It's a way of maintaining guest relationships. solidifying brand reputation and boosting marketing campaigns for future celebrations at the restaurant this 2023.

RELATED: How to run successful EDM marketing campaigns

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