Pubs with function rooms: making the most of your private dining space

pub function room

While bars and dining rooms get most of the attention, pubs with function rooms have a revenue stream hidden in plain sight. A well-managed private dining space can be an economic engine, hosting everything from wedding receptions to corporate meetings year-round. 

But maximising this option goes beyond simply throwing up some curtains. With the right strategies for marketing, operations and service, pub operators can get maximum value from their function rooms.

The advantages of a private function room in your pub

Having a dedicated private dining space for groups of all sizes gives pubs a competitive edge by allowing them to cater to a wide range of events and groups. Unlike similar venues limited to only standard dining rooms, pubs with function rooms can host:

  • Corporate meetings and retreats
  • Holiday parties
  • Rehearsal dinners and showers
  • Birthday and anniversary celebrations
  • Club and organisation gatherings
  • Alumni and networking events
  • Beer and wine tastings and pairing dinners
  • Meal packaging events for charities

A private dining room provides controlled space away from the main dining areas and bar scene. The separation allows hosts to create customised environments tailored to their specific event needs in terms of aspects like ambiance, menu audio and visual requirements.

From a revenue standpoint, a function room can be a major profit driver when promoted and used effectively. Hosts are often willing to pay premium rates for the privacy and experience a separate event space affords. Pubs can generate considerable income by packaging room rentals with preset menus, bar packages, A/V upgrades and other add-ons.

With its multi-event functionality and revenue-generating capabilities, a function room is an amenity that deserves focused attention. 

Promoting your private function space

Having an available function room is one thing, but successfully promoting it is central to keeping the room booked and profitable. Implement these actions to get the word out and drive event bookings:

Dedicated function room website section

Create a visually-appealing page on your website devoted to your private dining capabilities. Include full details like room capacities, photo gallery, floor plans, menus, packages and an online reservation system. Make this a prominent feature on your homepage.

Social media marketing

Showcase your function room through social channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Share professional photography of the space set for different events. Promote upcoming availability and any package specials. And use targeted paid ads to reach potential event hosts in your area.

Email marketing

Capture emails during events, through your website and with an email marketing campaign. Use this list to promote function room specials, new packages and to remind past hosts when it’s time to start planning their next event.

Network with local companies and organisations

Attend community meetings, join associations and network with event planners at corporate offices nearby. Promote your space as the perfect convenient location for off-site meetings, staff parties, client appreciation events and more.

Wedding guide advertising

Bridal magazines, websites and wedding directories can be effective advertising channels in many markets. Newly engaged couples are always on the lookout for reception venues.

The goal is to implement a multifaceted promotion strategy that spans digital and traditional channels. Treat your function room like its own separate business line and dedicate targeted marketing efforts toward it.

pint in a pub

Creating event packages

Along with active promotion, having well-designed event packages is necessary for successfully driving function room bookings. Create affordable, straightforward packages that provide value and leave guests feeling like they received a great experience for the price.

Key elements to include in function room packages:

Room rental fee

Establish rental rates based on factors like the time of day, day of week, length of rental and group size. Offer discount pricing for off-peak days and times to incentivise bookings during slower periods.

Food and beverage minimums

Require guests to meet preset food and beverage minimums to hit a certain revenue threshold. This allows flexibility in your offerings rather than strict per-person pricing.

Set menu packages

Provide hassle-free preset menu packages at different pricing tiers—perhaps a two-course option, a three-course and a premium four-course package. Offer choices within each package to accommodate specific preferences.

Bar packages

Bundle bar packages like beer and wine, house bar, premium bar, drink tickets and consumption and revenue minimums rather than offering per-drink pricing.

Add-on enhancements

Offer add-ons to upsell like celebratory toast packages, dessert bars, late-night snacks, specialty linen rentals, floral centrepieces, merchandise and more.

When packaging your offerings, focus on convenience, flexibility and perceived value. Make it easy for hosts to plan their perfect event experience at an upfront, predictable cost.

Delivering a winning private function event experience

You want the function room at your pub to deliver a flawless, memorable experience for every event. Pay close attention to both the physical space and service execution.

Creating an inviting ambiance

The right lighting, decor, furnishings and amenities can transform your function room into an atmosphere fitting any event style. Have settings prepared for different moods and occasions:

  • Soft lighting, linen tablecloths, candles for elegant dinners
  • Sleek, modern setting with ambient lighting for corporate functions
  • Funky, eclectic vibe with lounge seating for milestone birthday parties
  • Traditional wooden tables, centrepieces for family reunion luncheons

Make the space versatile and easily interchangeable between events. Provide entertainment options like sound systems, AV capabilities, controllable lighting and extras like portable bars.

Impeccable service execution

An upscale event space means higher expectations for service. Have dedicated function staff prepared to provide attentive, detail-oriented service including:

  • Greeting guests and providing seating assistance and directions
  • Making sure tables, place settings and bars are properly dressed and prepared
  • Promptly delivering food courses and resetting between rounds
  • Proactively anticipating guests’ beverage needs
  • Handling AV requirements and navigating any technology
  • Discreetly attending to spills, clearing plates and crumb sweeping
  • Assisting with setup and breakdown coordination

Assign adequate staffing and have a dedicated function coordinator so the event runs perfectly from start to finish. A focus on elevated hospitality will create an experience worthy of your venue’s private dining space.

With beautifully designed rooms and first-class service delivery, your pub can develop a reputation for flawless private events that keep guests raving and booking repeatedly.

Summary: pubs with private function rooms

Strategic promotion, well-designed event packages and first-class service give pubs with function rooms the potential to be a significant revenue driver. Transform your space by showcasing versatility, providing upscale experiences and developing a reputation for flawless private events that keep guests raving and repeatedly booking.