The year is zooming by, and we have already entered October 2022. As a restaurant, every month is a new opportunity to grow and keep up with trends. Each month has at least one occasion, celebration, festival, or event that a restaurant business can use to promote and attract new customers. For example, October is a month commonly famous for two occasions – Oktoberfest and Halloween.
It’s essential to keep up with trends as a business and use every opportunity to grow your customer base. A few strategies include discount promotions, new related dishes or events.
Events can be hard to organise and get messy when things go wrong. A business must try its best to avoid event risks and, at the same time, be ready for them. The following steps will help your restaurant business plan the best Oktoberfest event to gain more customers and host a successful fun event.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest all began 200 years ago on 12th October 1810. The first event was to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (try pronouncing that!). The bond established a sense of unity across the Bavarian state.
The occasion was celebrated with multiple days of drinking, feasting and horse races. In spite of it all beginning in Germany and was initially celebrated in Munich- it is now celebrated worldwide.
Even though the official dates to celebrate are from 27th September to 3rd October 2022, the events go on for the whole month of October. Nowadays, the events are more about drinking beer in steins and dressing up in Bavarian outfits.
Oktoberfest events and promotions are now a huge part of marketing and a great way to invite customers to enjoy the occasion with your business. You do not need to be a German restaurant or business to host an Oktoberfest event.
Steps To Take for The Perfect Oktoberfest Event
Research is one of your business’s first steps when planning an Oktoberfest event. You must understand the occasion, the celebrations, the rituals and whether it can work for your brand image. For example, if your business is known for fine dining – drunk customers and costumes may not be fitting for your brand. At the same time, you don’t want to insult any traditions, so research is crucial.
Research must also include how the event can benefit your business, sales and if it is worth it. Such an event can be great for brand building and may even become a yearly tradition (if done correctly).
Create A Plan
After you feel you have conducted enough research about the possible Oktoberfest event, it’s time to start planning. A strong plan is crucial for such events. Nothing worse than a poorly planned event that ruins your restaurant brand.
Do not rush this step. Your plan should include the event purpose, target customers, budgets, dates, duration, restrictions and more. Try to involve everyone when planning to get the best ideas and understanding of the budget. For example, you may need to spend more on marketing than usual for such events.
Decide On The Location
Location is a factor that can make or break your event. Will you host in your current restaurant or rent a temporary location? If you’re hosting it at your location, you may need to change the layout to allow customers to enjoy and interact more (if that is part of your theme).
Oktoberfest events are mainly about beers and letting loose, so you should prepare your location for drunk and loud customers. The site should make the event fun and allow the customers to enjoy themselves as much as possible.
Plan The Menu
It’s time to plan the menu for the event. Typically, the Oktoberfest menu includes German food, like a range of sausages, pretzels, sauerkraut, and beer. However, this doesn’t mean you have to only provide German food – you can have a twist on your current food to make it more appropriate for the event.
Your food will be the element that will bring the customers to your restaurant and spread great word of mouth. For example, after the event, they may look at your typical menu and be interested in trying more of your dishes. So, ensure the food is on point and DO NOT FORGET to have plenty of beer.
Marketing & Promotions
Marketing your event is what will bring customers from all around the city to come to enjoy your Oktoberfest event. Therefore, it has to be the best and well executed. The marketing team should use all the platforms to reach the right target market and promote why people must attend.
Marketing can involve unique discounts, tickets, and unavoidable deals. For example, if one attends in a Bavarian outfit- they will get their first beer for free, or buy 3 beers get 1 free – there are countless promotions that your business could do. Successful marketing can attract new customers who have never heard of you. Every loyal customer was once a new customer.
Cover Your Risks
There are a countless number of risks that can ruin your event, restaurant or even harm your customers. These risks include event cancellations, weather cancellations, third-party injuries and third-party property damage.
Every restaurant should have a plan when faced with these risks and recover as quickly as possible. The best solution to sudden event risks is purchasing event insurance. Event insurance can help protect your restaurant business against any risks associated with organising the Oktoberfest event. The insurance will provide financial cover in case of cancellation, property damage and injuries.
With event insurance, you are automatically prepared for event risks and can just focus on executing the best event. However, the event risk of fights between drunk customers will not be covered – if it results in injuries or damages.
Carry Out The Event!
The final step is the easiest, just open the doors, let people in, start the Oktoberfest event and hope for the best. The event is now out of your control: all you can do is let the drinks and food flow and turn up the music.
You must also be aware at this point; keep an eye out for your customers’ and employees’ safety. Hopefully, one of your employees is a bodyguard who can prevent fights and remove intoxicated customers, who may ruin the event.
These steps will help you reach your event goals as a restaurant business and execute a successful Oktoberfest event.