8 Tips for Choosing a Restaurant for a Special Occasion

Planning an event or celebrating a special occasion in a restaurant requires some advance research to ensure that the venue can handle the amount of people in your party. It can be tough to make these choices because you want the event to be perfect, and you might not know what to look for in a restaurant. The type of event you’re having will influence many of these decisions, but as a general rule, consider these tips when choosing the restaurant.

1- Budget Constraints

“Before you start contacting restaurants in the area where you’ll be holding the event, have a number in mind for your budget” said The Gander. This number should include the costs per person as far as food and drinks as well as entertainment. If you’re flexible on the night of the week, you might be able to get a deal on the venue too. Restaurants are always trying to fill their tables on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

2- Ambiance in the Restaurant

Online pictures can help you decide whether you like the vibe inside the space, but it can be tough to get the full experience without visiting the site first. If you’re able to visit, pick a night that you’re hoping to book so you can see how the place functions. For example, if you’re planning a Tuesday event, visit on a Tuesday night. This is a good time to have a small chat with the owner or manager too. You might need to set this up in advance.

3- Children in the Restaurant

There are times when children will be included in your event like for a rehearsal dinner or family reunion. The restaurant should be told in advance, and you should also make allowances for keeping the little ones occupied. They’re easily bored and might need separate entertainment like coloring books or travel games. They might need a separate table too.

4- The Use of Technology

Big companies use technology for their events, so why can’t you use them for your smaller one. While they use it for advertising, you can use technology for other things like checking the location on Google Maps if you can’t get there in person. You can also use social media to share updates on the planning or get input from guests about the location.

5- Parking at the Venue

One of the most important parts of the selection process is finding a restaurant that has ample parking for your party. Scout the location in advance to find out how they handle overflow parking. You might have to make arrangements to reserve parking in a nearby lot. Suggest Uber or Lyft to people who are attending and ask them to carpool. New users to the service are often given a discounted rate. Try not to leave guests to figure it out on their own.

6- Accessibility at the Restaurant

There shouldn’t be a question about the accessibility of the restaurant for those with special needs, but always be sure the location is ADA compliant. If there will be babies in attendance, the restrooms should have changing stations.

7- Capacity for the Event

The restaurant should know what their capacity is for diners, but it’s good for you to check yourself. If you have 50 people in your party, you’ll want to ensure that the restaurant can handle your entire party especially if extras tag along to the event. There are fire and safety regulations that will dictate how many people should be in a space, but owners are not always compliant. You should make sure that you know the limits, so you don’t put your party in danger.

8- Check the Reviews

If you were heading to a restaurant for dinner, you’d certainly check out the reviews. This shouldn’t be any different for an event in a restaurant. Try to find a review given by a person who held an event at the location too. That will give you an idea of how the staff handled a large party.

Once you have your list of venues in hand, you can do your research to shrink that list. It can take time to find a suitable location for your event, and you should start months in advance. Visit each location you’re considering before making your choice. Choose a time and day that will represent the time and day of your event. Find out about parking if it’s needed.