It may still be hot out there, but it’s not too early for restaurants to be thinking about the holidays — specifically, holiday events. We dug into some of the trends and patterns around 2014 private event bookings on OpenTable and learned that inquiries actually peak in October, meaning there’s no better time to start marketing to party planners.
We also looked at inquiries by metro, the types of events being booked, and when people are looking to host events. Here’s what we learned.
2014 Private Dining Inquiries
Restaurants on our Private Dining platform can drive leads via email or phone. We see private dining inquiries year round for occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and showers, but leads are highest in October, when people are planning for the holidays. How do we know?
As total event inquiries increase, requests for corporate events and holiday events actually comprise a larger percentage of the inquiries. In August, those requests are 36% of the total; in October they are 54%. By December, corporate and holiday event leads are down to 47% of the total.
*Chart reflects inquiries made via email only.
Leads by Metro
It’s no surprise that many of our largest markets also see big spikes in private dining requests in the months leading up to the holidays. October and November are the highest-volume months for email inquiries across the board, but Los Angeles and Toronto peaked in September.
Interestingly, patterns in phone requests were a little different. More people call in October than November, and in certain metros callers plan later than that. San Francisco, Miami and New York saw inquiries peak last minute, in December.
Event Requests by Month
Finally, we looked at the months people are actually booking the events for. October and November leads are mostly booking dates in December (hello, holiday and corporate events), but a handful of people are even booking dates for the following year. In December 2014, more than 100 people inquired about private events for December 2015. That shows a big opportunity to book your in-demand spaces early on and make the most of the holiday season.