Private dining: The next level of hospitality experience

Exclusive spaces can add more revenue and bookings to your restaurant



Nov 15, 2022 - 3 min read

Private dining: The next level of hospitality experience

With COVID-19 now seeming to be a thing of the past and many countries reopening borders to international travelers, restaurants are now clamoring to attract guests back to their venues.

Meanwhile, more and more diners are looking for restaurants where they can celebrate and reconnect with family and friends. While some are satisfied to just revisit their favorite restaurants, there are others who are looking to up the game and get unique and exclusive experiences, while enjoying it all in the company of their loved ones and closest friends or associates.

In the new restaurant paradigm post-COVID, private rooms and exclusive spaces can provide that exclusive dining experience that these diners crave. Just imagine a space with a private wine cellar, a room overlooking a garden or waterfall, or an outdoor courtyard all reserved for a group of celebrating diners while being served with curated menus from a private chef or a butler, all within a safe dining atmosphere.

Private event spaces can generate new revenue streams for their business, boost traditional slow nights, and attract new customers. Plus, they are good for any celebration: Christmas, birthday anniversaries, charity fundraising, business meetings, and even everyday occasions. While most hotels have private dining rooms, high-end or popular restaurants are also responding to this demand for exclusivity and see it as a good way to position their brand and attract more clientele to their business.

“Private dining spaces provide the exclusivity and intimacy needed in the post-Covid world. There are a lot of people who are looking for these fine dining spaces where they can spend and relax with friends and family. In Japan, privacy is a huge necessity when it comes to business so most of the high-end restaurants have private rooms and exclusive spaces to cater to this need," says CEO of TableCheck Yu Taniguchi.

For hospitality operators who are ready to create their designated private dining space, here are some top tips to follow:

1. Level up the hospitality experience

Private dining spaces are opportunities for restaurant owners to show their top-level hospitality to new guests and make an indelible impression. Restaurant staff can wow guests more by offering attentive service each and every time and by being well-versed in every menu item and drink. Concoct other surprises as well even if it's not written in the menu. Have the top chef greet the guests and personally serve them an extra cocktail drink to finish off the meal.

Remember it’s the small details and impeccable service that make a memorable guest experience.

Two diners choosing items in a menu

2. Provide an immersive journey

Create next-level immersive experiences for guests. From having a chef's table where guests enjoy an almost-theatrical performance to see how their food is being cooked to just a simple interaction with the chef is enough to wow guests.

Meanwhile, multi-sensory gastronomic experiences take it to the next level. Imagine using soundscapes, smells, and projection mapping to transform flavors. If it doesn't satisfy hungry appetites, at least it will be a hit with social media followers.

3. Create the perfect intimate space

Private dining is synonymous with luxurious interiors and sophistication. Think of canopies, a cozy fireplace, or even installing chandeliers or a gazebo if it's an outdoor space. Make sure to decorate the area according to the event if it's a closed space or just an extension of a fine dining room. If it's a small wedding celebration, fill it with flowers, and if it's a straight-up business meeting, add some leather ornaments and equip the space with conferencing equipment. Lighting provides the space with the right ambiance. Use natural lighting during the daytime but have soft intimate lighting or even candles for nighttime intimate dinners.

While private rooms or another floor area are the go-to options for private and exclusive dining, it’s not always the case. Other areas across the restaurant–separate from the main dining area–can be transformed or reinvented into a private dining space. 

An existing dining space can also be divided into a public and private area as long as there's clear and visible signage that says ‘restricted access’, is cordoned off, or has installed dividers. The only requirement is that this private space still functions as an oasis of tranquility where diners can have intimate conversations with their family, friends, and even business associates and enjoy a convivial experience.

4. Create bespoke and menu-themed items

Whether it is a birthday anniversary, Christmas celebration, or whatever occasion it may be, it’s best to whip up a bespoke menu that aligns with the event. Plan the menu ahead and create meal packages for birthday celebrations, breakfasts, brunches, and meetings.

Themed dining packages are also a must. If the restaurant is known as a luxury dining venue, consider adding exclusive items, extras, and discounts to the menu that only those who booked a private dining space can avail of. Have an option of providing buffet meals, assortments of dishes and bread too for special occasions.

Set up a wine table and consider having a wine package as well to upsell some of the restaurant's top wine picks.

5. Know your guests

Wow guests from the onset. Create customized booking forms that reflect the theme of the private event. Leverage guest data by knowing the customer preferences and other information beforehand to create a great dining experience and serve guests better. 

For VIPs and repeat guests, what better way to make them feel important than by greeting them using their names? Prior to the event, send an email to confirm all information regarding the private event and attach a QR code of the menu to the email.

With TableCheck, restaurants manage and control their own guest data so they can create more personalized guest experiences.

6. Prepay credit card deposit

To avoid no-shows and to ensure that restaurants don’t spend another penny on food costs, prepaid dining experiences are the answer. In the post-COVID world, asking diners to pay ahead of time is no longer taboo. It will minimize cancellations and ensure that high-set menus for 20 people don’t go to waste. It also saves hospitality operators time and other operational costs such as hiring extra staff to attend to guests.

With the TableCheck prepay credit deposit feature, restaurants can avoid no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

7. Drive repeat private dining events using surveys and EDM marketing

To know how satisfied your guests are with their private dining event, consider using survey forms to get direct feedback. Ask them questions like ‘Did you enjoy the meal?’, ‘How would you rate the quality of the food?’ and etc.

TableCheck allows restaurants to create and customize their own guest feedback survey in the guests' language. Results can be shared and compared across your restaurant group.

Leverage their feedback to improve your restaurant operations and hospitality service. Use EDM marketing campaigns to send them information about meal packages for Christmas, Valentine’s, birthdays, or anniversaries or align it with local events. 

TableCheck has a new EDM feature that allows restaurants to create effective marketing campaigns to communicate with their clientele.

RELATED NEWS: Top 10 restaurant survey questions to improve guest satisfaction | How to run successful EDM campaigns

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