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The golden tip for the hospitality industry in 2024: focus on groups!

  • Laura Bourgonje
  • 4 April 2024

As a hospitality entrepreneur, no day is the same: one moment everyone wants to be on the terrace, and the next moment everyone stays home because of the cold. That dynamism is fun, but it also makes the work challenging at times. Because: how much staff do you need to deploy? And how do you estimate what inventory you should have? Especially if, for example, you operate a beach venue, you are very dependent on the weather or other external influences; people stay home when it rains or go to another city if there is traffic jam or the trains have huge delays. So it can happen that in the morning you had a full agenda of table reservations and in the evening only half of them show up.

Group reservations as a solid foundation
Half the turnout also means half the income - and we haven't even talked about the stock you're left with, the extra staff you've hired, and the customers you've had to turn away earlier. Sure, variability is part of the job, but it can also be a threat to the survival of your business. Fortunately, there is a solution: focus on groups (as well)! Why?

Groups almost always show up
Where a couple sometimes cancels last minute, the threshold for a group is much higher. Even if it's raining, that team outing, birthday dinner, or Christmas drinks will still happen. At most, slightly fewer people may attend.

Moreover, for most hospitality businesses, it's a no-go to impose a 'no-show fee' for private last-minute cancellations (although you see that happening more and more), but when organizing an event, it's not uncommon to include something about cancellations in the general terms and conditions. This way, your revenue is guaranteed at least.

The decision to work more with parties was an efficiency gain for us. Parties provide a constant turnover.

 Malou, The Fat Mermaid

Group reservations bring in more (and cost less energy)
Is a large group coming to eat? Then no one finds it strange that there's a special group menu with limited choices, perhaps three options per course. (Besides, everyone usually orders three courses anyway!) Is there a drinks reception? Great, more drinks are often consumed - especially if it's on someone else's tab! And the margins on, for example, snacks are much higher than on - just to name something - smoked salmon. Less work for more money, that sounds like music to the ears, doesn't it?

If the group is so large that there are no other reservations, then your focus only needs to be on the group.

Group reservations are easier to prepare for
You know in advance how many people are coming and how long they'll be there, so you also know what to buy and how many staff members to schedule. Moreover, you have information about the group composition, so you already know, for example, what the dietary requirements are. That's not the case with spontaneous walk-ins, of course.

With MICE, you can organize a group event in no time that your guests will talk about for a long time.

More attention to your guests
By regularly having group reservations, you ensure a stable income, allowing you to have more time and attention for your regular guests. And don't think that a group means you can't put love into it: there's nothing more fun than brainstorming with your customer and working together to organize the perfect event! Hospitality at its best.

Organize a group event in a few simple steps
We just said that preparing for a group reservation is easy, but that doesn't mean you can sit back: you still need to coordinate with the client beforehand. What time are they coming, how do they want the space arranged, and are there any special requests? Fortunately, that can also be very simple: by automating, you can organize an event in no time!

With the MICE Request for Proposal tool, the customer can create the desired event themselves (tip: create standard packages for your customers to choose from), and with our interactive proposals, you can turn that into a fantastic proposal in just a few clicks. Then you can set up automatic messages so that your customer is reminded in time to provide the final details, such as the final number of guests. Oh, and of course, MICE can be integrated to your existing table reservation software!

Start your trial account today and discover how easy it is to get started right away!

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