Why You Should Sell Prix Fixe Menu Tickets
There has been a revolution of sorts lately. Restaurants have realized the value of selling prix fixe menu tickets either as stand alone experiences, or in addition to the regular dining format. Some restaurant owners assume selling tickets in advance for a prix fixe experience means very high-end dining (and equally high prices) but that is not the case as you will see in this post...
The Prix Fixe Menu Experience
For the uninitiated, the prix fixe menu dining experience, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a complete meal offered at a fixed price. The prix fixe dining experience was first offered in France as early as the 17th century as a way to encourage more people to go out to eat. Today, the evolution of a prix fixe menu has come to be thought of as a very high-end format - but that has been changing rapidly.
In the cut-throat business of the restaurant industry any and all formats are fair game if it leads to more diners. As such, the once high-end only prix fixe experience is now being used at nearly every price range. The prix fixe experience is also rapidly becoming a “rock concert” like event and that includes ticketing, but more on that later....
Back in 2011, the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, offered a prix fixe experience for New Year’s Eve. Two separate experiences, a five-course and a seven-course, were offered by executive chef Brian Howard. Priced at $125 and $195 per person respectively, the two events were the most sought after NYE activities in Sin City. The prices reflected what is often thought of as the norm for the prix fixe format, however less than a year later, the format was being offered at a much lower barrier to entry.
The White Dog Cafe offered a prix fixe experience for just $40 per person. The well prepared - but modest - offering of Prince Edward Island mussels, IPA marinated Hangar steak, and beer bread pudding was popular enough to “sell out” (maximum guests made reservations). White Dog Cafe's re-imagining of just what the prix fixe experience can mean to its guests has now become pervasive, and so too has the idea of selling tickets instead of accepting telephone reservations.
Format More Important Than Price
Restaurant owners often don't consider the fixed price, set menu format (with or without ticketing be a factor) for their business because they already have a traditional dining format in place. But the prix fixe format is not an "all or nothing" proposition. One can add a prix fixe experience to just a single night's service, possibly on the patio or in a separate room, while still flipping all those four tops. The format can be treated as an experiment business revenue and so can the pricing.
Bistros and cafes may offer a prix fixe experience that is up-scale from the usual demographic. Conversely, fine dining establishments may want to see if a down market demographic will take an interest in a "tasting sample" at a set price.
However the format is modified, selling tickets is almost a prerequisite. Prix fixe experiences, like the one at Next in Chicago, are a natural for tickets since the demand can be accurately gauged in advance, and thus ingredients purchased without waste. It is this foresight that allows restaurant owners to step out of their comfort zone and make a prix fixe experience wholly unique and special.
The same restaurants that sell tickets for their special prix fixe events often find a significant reduction in no-shows when compared to accepting reservations (but not payments) by telephone. With payment made up front, the commitment level by the guest is very, very high - making a last minute cancellation far less likely.
ThunderTix Can Help You Sell Prix Fixe Menu Tickets In Advance
ThunderTix can help you start selling tickets online in as little as one business day with no long-term contract commitments. We make nightly deposits of your sales dollars directly into your bank account, giving you the liquidity to buy only what you need for the menu – no waste.
When you say “table d’hôte” we know what you mean. In addition to being the most restaurant friendly ticketing software available, know that ThunderTix has years of experience in enabling venues to sell tickets online. You will inherit all that expertise when you decide to make the move from telephone reservation to selling tickets, either all-at-once or gradually.
Interesting in learning more about how selling tickets is possible at your restaurant? Please contact us at your convenience.