According to Datassential’s Eatertainment HotShot Report, 50% of consumers are interested in revisiting an eatertainment experience1. The combo of entertainment and dining isn’t a new concept. As restaurants slowly reopened after the pandemic, we saw vintage arcade bars, food halls, themed pop-ups, axe-throwing bars, and more take center stage.
The new wave of eatertainment allows restaurateurs to play around with a new revenue stream and stand out from the competition. Level up your game and see a turbo boost in sales by incorporating elements of eatertainment.
Play to Win
The demand for eatertainment was always there, but since restrictions lifted from the pandemic, more people have started joining their friends at establishments that marry the two. Furthermore, patrons see the value in visiting these hybrid restaurants with 21% willing to pay more at eatertainment locations. Look to see what consumers like to do in your area. Big football town? A foosball table or fantasy football league are cost-effective, but simple ways to draw crowds in.
Movies and vintage games are an easy bet to engage many patrons. A screening of a Hollywood classic or beloved nostalgic 80s flick paired with themed dishes will get people in the door and increase check averages. And while a full-on arcade bar might not be in the cards for most, adding a pinball machine, air hockey table, ping-pong, or board games can be integrated into many concepts.
Monthly trivia and karaoke are also super popular and can be low cost. A popular show, movie genre, or sports trivia gets people in the door and lingering longer. And it’s easy to turn a small space into an area for guests to belt their hearts out while enjoying a happy hour.
Ticket to Ride
Ticketed events are a strategic way to get in the eatertainment game, without hurting your bottom line. A wine dinner, whiskey tasting, international cuisine mashup, or holiday-themed event are easy to execute, high-return ideas for ticketed experiences.
And not only do they allow you to grab the gold beforehand, but you will also gain access to guests’ contact information and preferences so you can start marketing to a wider demographic and increase repeat business. Performance Foodservice One Source partner FanCONNECT helps you build a customer database, increase repeat business, and increase cash flow with a VIP and loyalty club platform.
Mix and Mingle
According to Datassential’s 2022 Eatertainment report, 13% of consumers overall and nearly 20% of millennials are interested in having connection opportunities at casual dining restaurants2. Speed dating, a membership program for a social club, or other open format for guests to meet like-minded people will encourage them to flock to your space and allow you to test drive LTOs, increase check averages as patrons linger longer, and create an experience tailored to your customer base.
Sometimes just a little magic goes a long way when creating a unique experience to engage your guests. Tableside presentations can add a little “wow” factor to service. Flambéed desserts, making fresh guacamole at a guest’s table, a fiery or smoky cocktail sparked right as it’s served, or a roaming trolly carving high-quality cuts of meat will not only add to the overall guest experience but hit the turbo button on sales and improve customer loyalty. You don’t have to jump through hoops or pull out all the tricks to satisfy guests here. Think about a dish, special cocktail, or something else unique to your restaurant that can easily turn into a tableside experience.