There’s nothing worse than glancing at your restaurant booking system and realising that the next few weeks are looking rather bereft of guests.

Boosting visits to a restaurant has always required some creative thought, but there are few better ways to do so than stage an event.

Here’s eight restaurant event ideas that may help you fill that booking diary:

1. Cookery classes

Invite guests into the chef’s domain? Why not?

People love your food, and many of them love to cook, so why not take advantage of these facts and offer an evening of cookery classes with your chef?

2. Happy hour

An oldie, but a goodie. And if you think your restaurant is too upmarket for a promotional tactic you’re more likely to see in the bar-lined streets of Spanish holiday resorts, think again.

People love happy hours, wherever they’re taking place. Give it a go.

3. Open mic night

If you regularly have live music in your restaurant, you could use the space normally occupied by the three-piece band or pianist to stage an open mic night.

You never know – there might be plenty of people in your area who would jump at the chance to belt out their favourite number after dinner.

4. Theme nights

You can – and should – latch onto seasonal events such as Christmas, easter and even Halloween in order to tempt people to your restaurant, but there’s no harm in trying ad-hoc theme nights, too.

An 80s- or 90s-inspired evening featuring food and music from that decade will likely tempt people to ditch their night in for a spot of reminiscing at your restaurant.

5. Singles’ nights

Speed dating is big business and, even in a world of Tinder, Match and the countless other dating apps, is still something people enjoy indulging in.

Your restaurant could be the perfect location to welcome a bunch of singles for a night of food, drink and super-fast chat.

6. Wine tasting

Got a wine menu you’d love to show off a bit more? Why not host a wine tasting night?

This kind of event isn’t purely for the aficionados, either – wine tasting is something anyone can enjoy and will be a unique, enjoyable evening out for many.

7. Live music

We muted this in the themed nights idea above, but if you’re yet to host live music at your venue, it’s really worth a try.

No one expects (or wants) a Metallica tribute to accompany their romantic meal out, but a pianist or small band at weekends will add that extra oomph to your service.

8. Charity

A great way to attract locals to your restaurant while doing your bit for the community is to offer to host a charity event.

Get in touch with the charities in your area and ask if they’d like to use your establishment to host their next gathering or fundraising event. It’s a great way to demonstrate how much you value working with such organisations.

Wrap up

Have we missed something? It’s quite possible.

If you’ve held a successful but unusual event at your restaurant, we’d love to hear about it. Share your story by posting in the comments section, below!

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