The holidays are a unique time for parties. In NYC, we go all out. What was once a restaurant in now transformed into anything from a VIP section of a club to inside a circus tent – trapeze artists and all. Tis the season has taken on a whole new meaning. For “Tis the season” means to open your wallet and make sure that you surpass last year’s party budget and deal with the consequences later. While all fun and dandy, that isn’t always an option. So, here are some tips for the upcoming season to have a great time, but not break the bank.
- Timing is everything – normally we hear location, location, location – which is also very important – but now you need to think of time. An afternoon cocktail party is a great alternative. Restaurants love a 3:00-5:00 party with cocktails and appetizers. You will have a cutoff time for the next party to begin, generally at 5:30 or 6:00, but you can negotiate down the price
- Day of the Week – consider a Sunday Night! A great option for people on a very tight budget. Sunday nights are generally slow so you can get the space but not have to pay a rental fee for it.
- Buffet vs. Sit Down – it’s always more economical to go buffet
- Cocktails and Appetizers – even more economical. However, not every restaurant is going to favor this. You have a budget to meet and they a have sales goal too. Don’t call STK and demand a private room with just cocktails and expect to be taken seriously.
- Neighborhood vs. High End – It’s fun to see what your local lunch place can do for you over the holidays to make it special. They know you and they’d love to be considered for a special party like this. Plus, they are more likely to work in your budget. Calling a high-end restaurant or bar for a private space for 2-3 hours without a minimum spend (the amount you have to spend on food and beverage), asking to waive all the fees because you are a nice person, is never going to happen.
- Cater it in – You can do a lot for $3-5k in your office. First of all, you already have the hardest part done, space! If you want to transform the space, contact a production company to have them stage it. It will blow your mind to see what they can do, seriously. Call your favorite restaurant and see if they can do tapas for the party. Hire a bartender and buy your own alcohol and get some form of entertainment in for the night. Also, do this on a Thursday – but don’t expect to have a productive Friday 😀
- January – While the restaurant won’t still be decorated for the holidays, you can buy your own decorations at half the cost, so you still get the feel of the holidays. Pricing has now dropped substantially due to low demand. Bottom line, is bottom line will be low for the event.
Of course, we do all of this at Kellari. Contact us for more information. We are here to help anyway we can!