“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”
– Fran Lebowitz
If you’re in the game of planning food and drinks events, then you’re in a business that never runs dry. But there are a lot of events catering to foodies on the market, so how do you make yours stand out?
We’ve put together the ultimate guide to a successful food and drinks event so you can make a lasting impression on your guests.
What you’ll learn in this guide:
- How to plan the food and presentation.
- Mouth-watering promotion techniques you can use to sell tickets.
- What to do as a host when you serve the hors d’oeuvres.
- How to follow up after the plates have been licked clean.
1. Planning your food and drinks event
Fine dining and food tasting are not just about good taste. It’s all about the experience as a whole. Use the planning phase to work out what you want your guests to feel before, during, and after.
Here are the main points you should remember when you plan a successful food and drinks event:
Choose food that caters to your guests’ expectations.
Find a venue that reflects the theme of your event.
Figure out how much food and drinks you’ll need per guest.
Hire a good caterer that you can rely on to deliver quality service.
Remember to plan out how the food will be presented.
Consider dietary requirements such as food allergies.
Source your food locally and consider the environment.
The food and drinks should be the centre point of your event. That said, you shouldn’t neglect other aspects of it, such as the presentation.
What to do now
Read the article below to learn more about how to choose the right menu, caterer, and venue for your food and drinks event.
Further reading: How to Plan a Food and Drinks Event.
2. Promoting your food and drinks event
Give your potential guests a taste of what’s to come during your promotion of the event. Leverage visuals and food experts to help you build interest both on- and offline.
Here are some ideas for how you can promote your food event:
Flyers and posters
Place physical ads, like flyers and posters, where people shop for food.
Use social media platforms to target people who are interested in the food you’ll be serving.
Focus on the visual aspects of your promotion, and make the images as mouth-watering as possible.
Leverage popular social media hashtags that are related to food (such as #sushi or #yummy).
Try to get a foodie influencer on board to help you promote your event to their audience.
Ask your catering company to help you promote the event (and their food) on their social media channels.
Promote your event to groups (as well as individuals) to maximise the exposure and turnout.
What to do now
We’ve created a savoury guide on what exactly you need to do to get the word out about your food and drinks event. Check it out below!
Further reading: Promoting Your Food and Drinks Event: A Savoury Guide.
3. Hosting your food and drinks event
Your promotion will have made Instagram blow up with images of your culinary skills. Now it’s time to show your guests that the proof really is in the pudding.
Here’s what to do on the day of your food and drinks event:
Set the tables and arrange the seating alphabetically so the seats are easy to find.
Cue up the music to create the right kind of atmosphere for your dinner theme.
Make sure you adhere to food safety standards so the food doesn’t spoil before it’s served.
Greet the guests when they arrive, serve hors d’oeuvres and announce the menu.
Break the ice, make each guest feel special and remember to keep the conversation clean.
Thank the guests for coming. Help them with transport and accommodation if required.
What to do now
We’ve only covered a sample of the many things you can do as a host on the day of your event. Read our full guide on how to be the perfect host here below.
Further reading: 24 Tips for How to Host a Food and Drinks Event.
4. Following up after your food and drinks event
The bottles and plates are empty, and the guests have gone home. Now is your time to strike while the iron is hot and follow up with gratitude and incentives to come back.
Here’s what you should be doing the day after your food and drinks event:
Assess whether everything went as planned and evaluate the catering company.
Say thank you
Thank everyone that attended your food and drinks event and the caterer (if they did a good job).
While you’re thanking your guests for their company, you can also ask them what they liked most and what could’ve been better.
Provide them with an incentive to come back, such as a discount on tickets for your next event.
Look at how well your emails, social media, and other promotion worked.
Count the ticket you’ve sold and brainstorm ideas for how to sell more next time (if you didn’t already sell out).
Look at the bottom line and assess whether it was profitable to work with the venue and caterer.
What to do now
The feedback is arguably one of the most effective ways for you to improve. So dig into our guide on how to get that from your guests after you’ve thanked them for attending.
Further reading: Feedback on Food: How to Follow up After a Food and Drinks Event.
Organising a food and drinks event can be a mouthful. But if you follow the steps we’ve outlined, you’ll never bite off more than you can chew.
Here are some takeaways you can reheat once you start planning your event:
- Place the food and accompaniments at the centre of your event planning.
- Focus on visual promotion to give your guests a taste of the event.
- Be a host in the truest sense of the word and facilitate good conversation.
- Gather as much feedback as you can on the food to optimise the next event.
Hope you enjoyed this guide and are ready to host a successful food and drinks event! If you have any sides you’d like to add to our menu, then please leave your orders in the comments below!