How to Make Money With a Banquet Hall
Much of the success of a banquet hall follows the same rules as any other business. Maximize income while minimizing expenses. Advertise in tightly focused areas. Maintain a competent, honest and loyal staff. Charge a fair price for high quality. However, a few considerations specific to the rental facility business can make the difference between struggling and thriving in this competitive market.
A banquet hall is not selling a good or a service so much as it's selling an experience. You will attract more customers and get better reviews if you invest where necessary to make that experience perfect. High cleaning standards and regular maintenance are just two examples of this. The better your banquet hall looks, the more it will sell itself.
Events on weekends take up time that's more valuable than events on a Tuesday morning. Winter events not scheduled around major holidays are worth less than those in June. Schedule your pricing to reflect these facts. Don't be shy about charging extra for high-maintenance events like weddings, proms and bachelor parties. They're going to cost you extra time and energy. It's fair to get compensated for it.
Most banquet halls are empty in the mornings and in the middle of the week. You can fill that time by offering your facility at a discounted price for regular meetings for local service clubs, the Chamber of Commerce or AA. Even if you charge half what you would normally charge, that's still more than you would get if the hall were empty. Regular customers also cost less, as they demand fewer services and extras.
In-house catering lets you charge a markup for each plate, snack and drink served. Even if you don't have an in-house kitchen, you can subcontract out the cooking and simply mark up the meal for extra profit. An in-house bar is a sure moneymaker for most events and is often the largest profit center for banquet and event facilities.
The people who come to you for an event will only have planned a handful in their lives. You likely handle that many every two weeks. Sell that valuable experience by offering full event planning services along with the facility rental, or make the services a standard part of the contract.
Events don't just require food and a place to stand or sit while people eat it. They can need music, furniture, decorations, flowers, transportation and even security. You don't have to keep inventory and staff for all these contingencies. Instead, make deals with local service providers where you get a percentage of the order in exchange for recommending them. Since all you have to do is hand over their business card, this is free profit with every recommendation.