Parents are always looking for creative ideas for their children’s birthday parties. Have you thought about whether your place of business could serve as a venue?
Diverse enterprises — restaurants, farms, bowling alleys, day-care centers, art studios, play spaces, toy stores, hair salons — offer such services. And for good reason: According to the Florida Times-Union, parents spend an average of $200 to $400 on birthday parties, and wealthy families may shell out $5,000 or more.
Want to add this lucrative service to your roster? Here’s how to get started.
- Create custom, competitive offers. Let’s say you own a bowling alley. It’s a no-brainer to offer a game or two in the party package, but should you offer pizza with cake and ice cream, too? How many children should you include in the base price? Examine other local businesses’ birthday packages to find out what services they offer and create a competitive deal. (In Houston, for example, average costs for a party with 10 kids generally fall between $70 and $160.) You might also put together tiered pricing packages, based either on the services provided — entertainment plus food vs. just food — or the number of attendees. If your business doesn’t typically sell food, consider partnering with a local restaurant that provides catering.
- Promote your party packages. To get party bookings, you’ll need to let people know what’s available to them. Create a webpage with details about your party packages — and spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, and your company’s newsletter. Look into targeted keyword advertising for terms such as “birthday parties [your city].” Place paid listings in niche publications, such as local magazines and websites aimed at parents. You might even consider initially selling a limited number of party packages through a daily deals site, so that attendees will publicize your offerings through word of mouth.
- Provide superb customer service. Customer service is always important, but when you’re hosting a party for young children, conflicts are nearly inevitable. You or an employee should respond to all party inquiries (emails and phone calls) in a timely manner. Address any special dietary or other requests, too. During the party, make sure that your establishment is well staffed, with one or more employees focused on the kids and their parents. If other customers are in the building, try to create a separate area for the party-goers, so that other customers won’t be disturbed.