How to Increase Banquet Revenue

by Jackie Lohrey; Updated September 26, 2017
Decorated table in restaurant

The key to increasing annual revenue with a banquet hall business lies not only with increasing the number of annual bookings but also in turning every booking into a bigger revenue generator. Michael Attias, a restaurant marketing expert, suggests that you start with a SWOT analysis, a method of identifying your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as they relate to operating a banquet facility. Once you have this information, proceed with creating a plan for increasing revenue.

Hire the Right Mix of Employees

Assemble an outstanding banquet services team, including a professional event planner, a chef, a banquet services manager and experienced salespeople. Incorporate key employees' credentials in marketing campaigns to generate additional, positive word-of-mouth buzz that can lead to additional bookings. Set high customer service standards for servers and bartenders, and make sure that both permanent and temporary employees receive initial and ongoing customer service training.

Upgrades and Add-on Sales

Increase banquet revenue with add-on sales. For example, offer a centerpiece, table linens, the house wine and one or two flower arrangement choices in a standard package. Then offer additional choices and package upgrades such as ice carvings, flowers, upgraded linens and a chocolate fountain. Recommend different wine pairings that might complement the chosen menu. Collaborate with local businesses to provide additional services and generate additional revenue by promoting each other's businesses.

Focus on Buffet Style Service and Profit Margins

Serve menus buffet style whenever you can. This not only provides for faster service, but also helps in revenue generation, as a buffet-style service requires less staff and saves you from having to purchase the warming cabinets required for pre-plated service. Allow some flexibility in building a buffet-style menu to provide opportunities to up-sell the standard buffet-style package. Make sure your event planner knows the profit margin for different menu items. This can help in optimizing revenue, as it allows for options that may have the same price but a higher profit margin.

Expand Marketing Efforts

Expand both the width and depth of your marketing campaigns to increase your competitive edge. In addition to weddings and corporate events, target family reunions and children’s parties and open your hall to the public on family celebration days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter. Increase revenue from each event by offering different themes and menus and then rely on your event planner to customize packages. Cater to different lifestyles and tastes with menu options ranging from budget to high-end, as well as vegetarian and heart-healthy menus.

About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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