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Venues Are In For A Bumper Functions Season – But Are They Maximising The Opportunity? ResDiary Data Reveals

Venues should get ready for a bumper summer with ResDiary data showing a 21% surge in 20 person-plus bookings during previous November to January months, compared to a normal three-month period over the last three years.

This forms part of ResDiary’s newest analysis into group booking dynamics during the festive months from November to January, underscoring the importance of understanding these trends for businesses striving to maximise group bookings.

Rebecca Zeitunian, APAC Regional Head of Growth, said functions are desirable by many venues for the ability to plan staffing and food costs, yet many venues struggle to attract high quality group bookings.

“First, we must understand who the key function decision maker is and what they are looking for. The data shows they are often an existing customer and nearly 60% likely to be female, contrasted by two-person bookings which are predominantly made by men. With this profile starting to take shape, venues can look at the types of packages that may be most appealing and how to convert small table bookings into future function business.”

ResDiary’s key group booking insights are:

1. Larger booking sizes see highest growth during the silly season

November to January witnesses a surge in group bookings, notably with a 17% increase in 10-person reservations and a remarkable 21% surge in 20 person bookings. In order to accommodate larger groups, ResDiary recommends venues implement minor adjustments such as offering function friendly menus, elongated tables or booth seating and providing casual standing options.

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Two person reservations take the lead year-round, however during this period there is a minor decline of 2% of bookings highlighting the trend towards larger gatherings.

2. Females more likely to book large functions

Another significant trend revealed is males predominantly book two-person bookings, while females make the majority of larger group bookings. Women lead the way with 12% more bookings for five-person gatherings and a staggering 58% more bookings for parties of 20 or more, compared to bookings made my males.

ResDiary suggests implementing strategies to appeal to bookers preferences based on the group size, for example using social media advertising to target demographics with personalised group packages.

3. Function bookers are already customers

Customer loyalty emerges as a pivotal booking factor, with nearly double the number of group bookings over six originating from customers who have previously visited the venue (14%) within the last year compared to two-person bookings (8%).

Diners booking large celebrations often with family and friends are more selective with their venue choice, wanting familiar venues where they trust the food quality and experience.

ResDiary would advise venues to explore re-marketing strategies aimed at their current customers to increase group functions by promoting their function offering through email marketing campaigns and in venue advertising.

4. 20 plus people bookings are the most profitable big group size based on Spend Per Head (SPH)

Groups exceeding 20 people display a 38% higher spend per head compared to group bookings ranging between 16-20 individuals.

However, spending big on date night means two person bookings consistently boast the highest spend per head and groups of ten or more witnessing a 50% decrease in spend per head comparatively.

Considering the optimum booking size is 20 plus people, ResDiary suggests venues test ways to upgrade the lower group sizes by incentivising bookers to add extra people to their booking. Ways to do this could be free gifts like a complimentary dessert or magnum for bookings of 20 or more.

For more information on booking insights visit ResDiary’s website.

About ResDiary

ResDiary is a global online table management system used by 11,000+ restaurants, bars, cafes, bistros, hotels, pubs and clubs across the globe. Built for hospitality operators by hospitality experts, ResDiary’s innovative reservation and table management technology enables venues to bring new customers through the door, increase reservations, reduce no-shows and manage promotions, events, and payments, all from a single platform. www.resdiary.com

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