As the year draws to a close, every bar and restaurant owner is gearing up for the most anticipated night of the year—New Year's Eve. It's not just a celebration; it's an opportunity to make your venue the go-to spot for customers looking to ring in the new year with style.
If you want to make sure your bar or restaurant is fully booked this New Year’s Eve, here are four tried-and-true strategies to make your New Year's Eve event the hottest ticket in town.
1. Commit to the theme
New Year's Eve is a time for fresh starts and unforgettable memories, and your venue's theme should reflect just that. People love a party with a unique twist, so we’d recommend being creative and choosing a theme that customers can get involved with.
Whether it's a glamorous Great Gatsby soirée, a retro '80s dance party, or a black-tie masquerade, a well-thought-out theme can transform the atmosphere of your bar or restaurant and turn your event into a night to remember.
Start by decking out your venue in theme-appropriate decorations, think about hiring a DJ for the night who can spin theme-appropriate tracks, and encourage your staff to also get involved in the celebrations by dressing up.
Don’t forget to promote your themed event through all your marketing channels—social media, your website, and even old-fashioned posters around town.
2. Think of some fun New Year's Eve countdown activities
It’s something that only happens once a year, so try to go all-out in the countdown to the new year by creating a series of countdown activities leading up to midnight.
For example, have a balloon drop every hour, each accompanied by a different mini celebration that aligns with your theme. You could also host mini competitions amongst the guests, have special cocktails brought out at certain times, or have different games that can keep the guests occupied all night long.
NYE is a long night, so trying to keep the energy up throughout the event can be a bit of a challenge, but being creative with different activities to keep people engaged can make your event more memorable.
3. Create exclusive packages and deals
Everyone loves a good deal, especially on a night as special as New Year's Eve. Design exclusive packages that offer value and a touch of luxury to your usual offering. Bundle options could include VIP seating, complimentary bottles of champagne, or a chef's special tasting menu.
Consider offering early bird discounts for those who commit to attending well in advance. This not only helps with your planning but also encourages people to secure their spot early. You could even think about providing discounts for larger groups or families who want to celebrate together.
You could also investigate opportunities to collaborate with other local businesses, such as a nearby hotel to offer exclusive room rates to sweeten the deal. Highlight these packages and deals in your promotional materials to encourage even more people to book their spots.
4. Design a menu of signature NYE cocktails
Having a well-stocked bar on NYE is a crucial part of any event, but you should also think about designing your selection of New Year's Eve-themed cocktails to reflect the spirit of the night and offer something a little different to your normal drinks menu.
Consider limited edition names tied to your venue or theme and make sure the drinks are flowing all evening. You could also offer a complimentary signature drink to early arrivals or those who purchase certain packages.
5. Engage your community
Your local community is a powerful resource so don’t forget to include them where possible, too. Host pre-New Year's Eve events, such as a festive cocktail tasting, to build loyalty amongst existing and potential customers and to build anticipation for your NYE celebration.
You could also partner with other local businesses on the day of your event. Why not seek out a nearby bakery for custom New Year's Eve treats or your local florist for beautiful decorations and arrangements to liven up your venue?
If you’re trying to sell the last few tickets before the night, don’t forget about the power of local press and social media to help spread the word. Local media outlets can help you gain coverage for your event by scheduling interviews and press releases, but you can also get local influencers to help promote the event and spread the word to an even larger audience.