Themed evenings in the restaurant business can get a bit of a bad press. They’re not all smashing plates and belly dancing or cheesy hen nights with spray cream and squealing.
Theme nights can be a really good way to bring new customers into your restaurant and earn some money in what might otherwise be restaurant down time.
If you plan your evenings carefully and advertise in the right places, there is no reason why your business would not benefit from introducing some theme nights. Here are some ideas to make sure your theme nights are of the ‘authentic and classy’ persuasion, rather than the ‘fondue and Abba night’ that is not the kind of event you want to promote.
Tribute Band Theme Nights
There are some really excellent tribute bands around and, although it may scream ‘student night’, if you get the right tribute band for your venue, it can work surprisingly well. Don’t forget that there are tribute bands for absolutely everyone you could think of, with excellent costumes, great sets and canny knack for creating a good atmosphere.
Go online and look at one of the many tribute band agencies, or check our social networking sites to contact people directly. You can match a special menu for the night and offer a one set price ticket.
Culinary Theme NightsA good way to try out new dishes and introduce customers to new ideas is to offer a culinary theme night. Speak to your chef and find out if they have any hidden talents – they may be able to create an authentic Indian buffet and they’re stuck making pies. Come up with some new ideas that will bring a bit of excitement to the restaurant – sushi nights are popular as long as it is not too expensive, and curry nights are a classic choice.
Advertise your culinary theme night in your local paper and make sure you shout about it on your restaurant business website – if you don’t have one, perhaps now is the time. It makes it really easy to send e-mailshots to your customers past and present.
It makes sense to offer a one price set meal for the evening, either in the form of a buffet or a three course meal. Buffets are more informal and allow people to try new things at their own pace – great if you are doing sashimi in a town where it is still the unknown.
Seasonal Theme Nights
Perhaps a more stylish way to have themed nights in your restaurant is to go for seasonal themes. You could have a strawberries and cream theme in July as the British strawberries are at their most perfect, or go for asparagus, apples or spring lamb.
Talk to your chef about different ways with seasonal produce and then devise a menu together with the goal of really showcasing a particular ingredient. You can then carry on this theme throughout the marketing and promotion of your themed evening – it’s a great way to bring in new business and gives you an excuse to get in touch your list of business contacts.