There has been an exciting shift in the restaurant and private dining market over the past few years, with many operators carving out a section of their existing venue or taking a lease over a new space to create intimate and creative private dining experiences.
These dining rooms provide guests with a high level of privacy whilst still allowing them to experience the true essence of the restaurant, often with unique menus, banquet options and a much higher level of service.
Private dining rooms truly provide an exceptional dining experience where a custom approach to dining with great friends or work colleagues can be delivered, often with expectations on food and service exceeded.
Size of Room: Most Private Dining Rooms are built as an intimate space to catch up with great company or with colleagues. Typically most Private Dining Rooms seat between ten and fourteen guests, with few rooms built to exceed this capacity. We suggest you confirm the maximum number of guests able to be comfortably seated at the table to avoid issues at the time of arrival with overcrowding.
Minimum Spend: As these spaces are often used only when a function is confirmed, many Private Dining Rooms come with a minimum spend requirement. The minimum spend is often required due to the personalised nature of the dining experience (including staffing and menus), and this point should be clarified in writing in the early communication stages with the venue.
Room Hire: Most venue operators avoid a room hire fee as such (as not to offend the customer) and tend to absorb this cost within the minimum spend requirements of the booking. A quick confirmation of this point in the early stages of the enquiry will ensure no nasty surprises arise at the time of payment.
Menus and Banquets: Given the nature of the private dining experience, it can be expected that venue’s usual a la carte menu will most likely not be available for a Private Dining Room experience. This will in part be a requirement to meet a minimum spend but primarily is designed to ensure all guests receive the maximum dining experience which often only a banquet menu can deliver. Most venues offer a range of banquet menu options and almost all will make variation for dietary needs, most commonly vegetarian, gluten intolerance and vegan. Beverage package options are usually available also which has a benefit of providing a full fixed price to the event or function.
Audio Visual Requirements: If you are seeking specific Audio Visual requirements including items like projector screen, projectors, microphones and the like, a quick confirmation of what is on site will assist budgeting for the event. Many venues do not have this style of equipment on site and often organise to hire and recharge the cost through a third party or preferred supplier. It is recommended to confirm the cost of any third party hire fees to ensure they are both fair and reasonable. Most venues will not take a commission of the hire fees as the minimum spend generated from the booking already ensure a successful night.
Personalised Music: All venues will have an audio option available in their Private Dining Rooms and depending of the level of setup will determine what flexibility is available. The standard option will see a general playlist providing background music suitable to the clientele servicing the space, however many now have the ability to plug in iPhones or iPods so personal playlists can be prepared for the event. Additionally the venue may be able to customise a playlist based on a genre or style that would suit the party, function, work event or celebration. Music is often a forgotten part of the function but is often the key point to generating a great level of atmosphere on the night.
Cakeage Fees: These are a sticking point with most customers and it pays to clarify the venue policy in the early stages of communication. It would be fair to expect that these type of fees would be waived if a minimum spend requirement was in place.
We truly LOVE Private Dining Rooms and believe these intimate spaces often provide the most memorable dining experiences due to their personalised focus with service and product. We take our hat off to the forward looking venue operators that have upgraded facilities or invested into new spaces to create these zones, offering a different dining experience to their current offerings.
So the next time you are looking for a space for ten to fourteen guests, look no further that a Private Dining Room – we are sure you will not be disappointed.