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Using a Restaurant as an Event Venue

Every event is different and, while some necessitate large venues with advanced, bespoke technology, others are amply accommodated in smaller, more intimate venues. When considering a restaurant as a venue, it is also vital to keep in mind that all restaurants are unique as well, offering a range of different amenities, facilities and services.

In general, restaurants may be better suited to hosting the following kinds of events:

  • Weddings
  • Birthday parties
  • Retirement parties
  • Awards evenings
  • Children’s parties
  • Corporate dinners
  • End of year functions

Some restaurants are equipped with a specific meeting room, which is usually set apart from the main dining area. This can be booked separately and will allow you and your guests extra privacy. Others can simply rearrange their dining area to suit your numbers and specific requirements.

It is important to work directly with one person (preferably the manager or owner of the restaurant) to coordinate your event. This person should understand your needs and requirements, and should be able to offer alternatives, provide advice and be available throughout your event to ensure that it runs smoothly. You should also feel comfortable and able to communicate with this person.

There are, as with any other venue option, advantages and disadvantages to choosing a restaurant.

Advantages:

  • Restaurants are usually centrally situated to enable the maximum number of patrons to visit. This means that your guests and delegates will also benefit from this close proximity.
  • There is generally safe parking available within the immediate vicinity.
  • The restaurant already has a functioning kitchen and bar area available.
  • There are a number of payment systems in place (credit card facilities, cash, change, and so on).
  • A restaurant provides an intimate venue with some ambience (as opposed to an empty hall or an impersonal conference centre).
  • The décor is already in place, negating the need for you to worry about drapery, table settings, and so on.
  • Service staff members are trained and available for functions (these include barmen and waitrons).
  • Restaurants are usually less costly than larger venues.

Disadvantages:

  • You are obligated to maintain the theme or style of the restaurant and, therefore, a little limited in terms of your décor.
  • Restaurants are not always equipped to handle the audio-visual needs of some events.
  • If your event is very small, the owner of the venue may not be prepared to hire the entire restaurant out to you, which means having other diners present.
  • Restaurants are often only equipped to accommodate about 60 to 80 people.

Photo Credit: Europe Word

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This article was posted by Eventfocus.co.za - South Africa Event Planning Guide.

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