Friday, 13 December 2019

Social Planning with Squaremeal

Readers… today I’m talking restaurant and venue booking!  Why? Not only is it currently the most wonderful time of the year, but, for anyone doing party planning it’s sometimes a struggle to work out where to book, how to book and find something that keeps everyone happy – be that friends, family or being handed the responsibility of the work Christmas social. Ahhhh.

square meal post venue finding Copyright what claire did

I’m a regular fan of eating out plus am a bit of an event organiser having done a series of big(ish) charity events, balls and fundraisers all requiring me to find a venue. Yes, there’s Google and you can do it yourself or you can find a platform like the Square Meal website, which will take some of the hassle out of venue sourcing for you.

Square Meal operates across London, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Birmingham and can help you with anything from finding a restaurant or a pub to sourcing your wedding venue (anyone who’s recently got married will understand how painful this research part is…)  There’s even a concierge service to help you with all those traumatic work jobs like finding a meeting room in a different city last minute or finding a private dining room for 20 people you’ve never met, that that your MD has decided must be taken out for dinner in 2 days’ time.

square meal post venue finding Copyright what claire did

Square Meal is all about making your life that little bit easier by taking some of the stress out finding a venue and giving you the time back to work on the parts of the organisation that really matter, you know, like finalising the cocktail menu.

In the spirit of it currently being the season of giving, today I thought I’d share with you, my top 5 tips for organising and planning a great event (I’ll even tell you that these are tips for life, not just for Christmas).

1.  Start Early

Venues book up quickly – especially wedding ones – some are booked 2 years ahead in peak season.  If you’ve got your heart set on somewhere, as soon as you have a date for your event, start researching venues and contacting your preferred choice(s).

square meal post venue finding Copyright what claire did

2.  Know Your Numbers

It’s impossible to predict exactly, however, most venues will want a final total 1-2 weeks before (depending on how big your event is).  Prepare for call offs, but also prepare for people to be so disorganised, they appear last minute and expect a seat at the table.


3.  Set Expectations

You’ll never get a 5* private dining room in Mayfair, for the price of a function room at your local pub.  Work with your team to set expectations about what is and isn’t achievable for their proposed per head budget.

square meal post venue finding Copyright what claire did

 4.  Don’t Forget Dietary Requirements

People are veggie, vegan, lactose free, coeliac, gluten free, have nut allergies and more… please don’t forget to ask your guests or party goers if they have any dietary requirements and make sure the venue knows – there’s nothing more disappointing than being presented with something you can’t eat.

square meal post venue finding Copyright what claire did

 5.  Check in A Few Days Before

Whether it’s the team Christmas lunch or a large-scale event, make sure you check in with your venue 48 hours before to confirm any last minute details, changes to plans or provide any information that can help your night run smoothly… once you’ve checked everything off your list, don’t forget that you’re there to enjoy yourself too!

square meal post venue finding Copyright what claire did

This post is a paid collaboration with Square Meal.

1 comment:

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