How Do You Plan To Sell More Functions?


A great way to add more profit to your business is to provide a function space for clients to run functions. Functions are a great source of income, they're very easy to manage because typically you're are producing and serving a limited menu of options for everybody. This alone allows you to manage your costs effectively, you know how many to staff to have to employ, you can easily budget for the food, and make a really good margin as a result. Obviously, many restaurants do functions, corporate events, and weddings, but my question to you is how do you plan to sell more of them? It's one thing to say we're available for them but what do you do to sell or promoted them?

One of the things that you have to do when selling is to get into the shoes of the customer (or prospect). Think about the life and the challenges of that person who is looking for you and your venue as "the place" to solve their problem "Where is the ideal place to hold my function?"

From your point of view, you will want to ask how many people are going to be there? What is their budget or price per head, blah blah blah. From their point of view, it could be completely different. They might want to know what kind of venue you have? How many seats there are available in your function room? Do you have a data projector, is there a sound system? What are the inclusions and exclusions in your package? What kind of layouts you have for the rooms? What kind of budget should they need in order to book with you? Do you have drinks packages included, and so on and so forth.

All of these options need thinking through which will take time and once you've worked them out, you have to display them in a way that's attractive to the customer. You need to put together a functions pack, maybe a corporate functions pack, and then on top of that, maybe a wedding pack.

For each of those types of functions, you're going to list all of the things that you can include, so maybe for the orporate pack, it might be that you have a private dining room or a private area where they can get together and they can discuss business things, maybe be an data projector, and so on and so forth. With weddings, it could be that you provide other things for the bride and groom like an area before they come into the function room where they can prepare themselves. It could be that you provide a video screen for them too so that they can show photographs and their guest speakers can show photographs too.

So you've got to think what else is it that the person who's going to book the function wants beyond just food and drink. You've got to kind of get out of that restaurant head, get out of that chef head and think about, if I was booking a function, what is it that I would want in that function room? The more that you add into that, the more that you can be helpful to them, the more likely they are to come to you.

First of all, get your function pack put together, then get it onto your website, so not just downloadable PDFs, I'm talking about having it on your website so people are attracted to it. Often, I go to websites, I click on their function page, and what I see is empty rooms with tables and chairs. Which is fine, it gives them something to look at but it really doesn't transmit emotion, and people buy from emotion. If you can possibly do it, ask some of the people that are already holding functions if it's okay if you show photographs of their function. That way, the person viewing your web page will see lots of other people in that picture and get a sense of what it's really like to hold a party or function at your event.

Beyond that, there's lots more that you can do. You can do SEO around your function page, you can do advertising on the website, you can do Google AdWords, you can do Facebook advertising, you can email out to your list of prospects. First and foremost, you have to have your sales piece right so that when I come and I find your restaurant and I click on your function page, I can get a really good understanding of what it's like to have a function there and then when I download that PDF, then I can sit there and read through all of the things that I can have when I come to you.

Tips and Take aways:

  • This Is A Way To Increase Dollar Spend & Get New & Repeat Business
  • What Will Help Them To Have A Great Experience?
  • What Do You Show On Your Functions Webpage?
  • Empty Tables or Emotion-Filled and Dramatic Photos?
  • Downloadable Packs and Forms?
  • Enquiry Form and Booking Bonuses?
  • Are You Using On-line Marketing Tools?