Top 5 tips for the Perfect Private Dining Experience

Private Dining, by it’s very nature means the occasion is special.  We only want a specific group of people present for a particular reason.  Whether it’s a personal, intimate celebration with the inner circle, a recognition of a person or event, or even a business gathering, if it needs to be private,  we want to get it right! Here are five top tips that can really help you create the perfect Private Dining experience.

The Gallery, Private Dining Room

 1.  Know the People –

From the first point of contact with a potential venue, it’s vital to feel that we are in the hands of competent, helpful, friendly professionals. You aren’t just looking for an establishment to have a private dinner, you are looking for a partner to help create the perfect Private Dining experience! Ask yourself- am I dealing with the right person in the organisation? Are they listening to my needs? Are they flexible and helpful planners? Is there an attitude of ‘Whatever we can do to help’?

 2.  Visit the Private Dining Room –

The comfort and ease of  guests plays a pivitol role in the success of an event and should be considered from as many angles as possible. Go to the venue and ask yourself- is the room everything that was expected? Is it really private? Do I want really private? Is it large enough for the number of people? Is the seating comfortable? Are the bathrooms nearby? Is there easy access to this location via taxi rank/parking/ public transport?

3. Taste the Food & Wine–

Menus are generally written in a most appetising way designed to make your mouth water. The real test however, is in the tasting! When deciding on menus, consider seasonality, variety, balance and choice. Choose accompanying wines that will complement the food. Be guided through the decisions by the Chef and Sommelier or the Manager if a little unsure. Check the restaurant will accommodate anyone with special dietary needs.  If you’re not already familiar with the establishment then – taste the food and wine before the event.

4. Know your Budget –

There is nothing worse than enjoying an evening only to be shocked when the bill arrives! Know what to expect in advance and avoid the surprise at the end. Most establishments will offer a choice of menus for different budgets.  Be aware that some menus will have additional charges and extras. If you do not see what you need with the choices available, ask if they can tailor a menu to suit the budget you have in mind. Estimate the amount of wine needed for the group. Agree with the Manager on how much will be served and what happens if more is required. Know what the service charge situation is in advance. Agree prior to the event how and when payment will be handled.

5. The Little Extra Details –

Special little extra touches are the icing on the cake in creating the perfect Private Dining experience. Consider if there should be a welcome prosecco, or an special after-dinner cocktail? Should there be a special theme – balloons – name placecards – special flower arrangements – personalised menus – company logo menus.  Is there a little gift at each place settings? Will there be speeches? Define the details and organise delivery, set-up etc with the Manager…and enjoy!