Knowing the Frequently Asked Questions for Your Venue – FAQs & FADQs
Prepare & Practice Your BEST Answers to the Event FAQs
When my first wedding reception venue opened in Monbulk in 2007, I was a disorganised to say the least. We had very few procedures. policies. systems or manuals in place. I barely even knew the regulations and local laws. We didn’t even know what FAQs were!
Most of the information we had was scattered around and lots of things were just made up on the spot. This became a BIG problem when different staff would tell event organisers wildly different answers.
Q – “Can I bring a bottle of my favourite whisky to the wedding as a gift?”
A – “Maybe – I’ll check”
Q “It’s a dozen bottles of Homemade Grappa”
A – “Maybe not”.
Q – “What’s the price for kids?”
A – “It’s Half Price for Kids.”
Q – “What if its a very small kid, surely you don’t charge for babies?”
A – “Ummmm” “Errrr” “Free”
Q – “So then the minimum 100 pax is now 80 people and 20 babies?”
A – “Hang on a minute!” “Ooops!”
Q – “How much for the Video Guy? I’m not paying for him as a guest – He’s not eating.”
A – “OK. Oh, there are THREE Video Crew. They want Meals! They want Drinks too!”
Q – “Can we bring the bridal car onto the dancefloor at the end of the night?”
A – “Yes we can do that!” “Oh, It’s a FIRE TRUCK because he’s a fireman. Maybe NOT.”
It turned out, that most of our customer complaints after the event were related to poor communication and weird requests.
This can be reduced significantly by having FAQs & Agreed Procedures (and FADQs too).
Know Your Venue FAQs & FADQs
What’s a FADQ You Ask? (Good Question)
A FAQ is a Frequently Asked Question and a FADQ is a Frequently Asked Difficult Question.
All Staff should learn the answers to the FAQs and really good answers to the most difficult questions – the FADQs.
You can put your FAQs on your Website, Function Kits and print sheets for the wall near the phone & front desk so that the team can ALL say the same thing, every time.
Never say NO to a Guest!
My biggest pet peeve at all my venues was when a member of my team would say “NO!” to a customer. I would explain that it is much better to say “I’m sorry we can’t do XXX but we can do YYYY” as this would end up with a better resolution to the issue and a happier customer.
It turns out that there are NICE ways to say things and there are BLUNT or RUDE ways to say things. It is helpful to prepare your BEST Answers in advance to these frequently asked venue questions so that we give consistently good answers.
Nobody likes to hear “It’s our policy” or “Because that’s the way it is”. It is better to give people a REASON and offer ALTERNATIVES if possible.
Even worse than saying “NO” is a guest or an event organiser being given CONFLICTING answers or incorrect information from different staff members or at different times during the lead-up to the event. “He said I could do it, She said I couldn’t but they said I can”.
Make up your collective minds and be consistent to deliver a quality service experience.
LIST of FAQS for a Function or Event Venue
- Function Pricing & Price Differences – explaining Seasonality or different Day prices
- Function Dates Availability – explaining availability and booking process
- Deposits – How much? When is it due? Further Deposits due? Refunds?
- Final Numbers and liabilities Minimum Spend
- Cancellations policy and Postponement Policy explanations
- Opening Hours – Arrival times
- Closing Times – licence times and Bar Closing time
- Latest closing times – Music, Alcohol, All guests leave by
- Menu service types
- Function Menus offered
- External Caterers Allowed?
- Kids Prices and Meals – babysitting?
- Infants Meals and Policy – Breastfeeding policy?
- Pets Policy – Can I bring my pets?
- Meal Deal & Price for Videographer, Photographer, AV desk or Band Meals
- Special Diet Guest meals – Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten, other
- Handicapped Toilets or Access
- Events info – room plans, Contract
- Other Activities available
- Minimum Size Event or Minimum Spends
- Maximum Size Event that can Fit
- Wi-Fi availability, limits and upgrades
- Any Traffic or Carpark Issues – Roadworks or construction going on
- Directions to Venue
- Drink/Drive options
- Transport options
- Cake policy – BYO Cake, Amateur Cakes, Cakage charge? Cake as dessert?
- Setup/Load in times – “Bump In” WHS Equipment Rules – Lunch Event running late
- Noise rules/neighbours – Band/DJ
- Setting up Displays and products
- Damage to walls – sticking things on / hammering nails
- Bringing own Alcohol policy? Corkage?
- Bringing own Food policy – Special Foods, Cake?
- Liability for any Contractors
- Use of Fireworks, sparklers, open flame lamps
- Taking Video and Pics of public and staff
- Liability for Gifts & Presents kept on premises
- Taking food home after the event
- Kitchen Use – Can I bring my own chef?
- Liquor licence rules and licence on display
- Power Supply – 3 Phase availability for displays/AV etc
- Special Requests – bringing Strippers or at a Funeral Wake bring the Dead Body
- OHS – test and tag equipment, ladders, dangers
- Airconditioning Effectiveness on very hot days
- Power Supply
- Nearby Hospitals
- Nearby Accommodation
FADQs – These are Questions about things you would prefer NOT to disclose about the event, business or venue.
Only answer these types of questions if they are ASKED by customers or prospects.
It is useful to have really good answers prepared beforehand – but I would NOT put them up on your website!
- Bar Closing – Why are you closing the bar before the end of the event?
- Acts of God – What if there is a Bushfire or Flood?
- Deposits – Will I get my deposit back if I cancel?
- Food Poisoning – What if all the guests get food poisoning?
- Food Allergies – What if there is an allergic reaction to the food?
- Minimum Spend – What if I don’t have enough guests to reach the minimum spend?
- The Business is for Sale – Is the Business for sale? Is the Owner Selling?
- New Business Ownership – Will you honour the old contract?
- Business undergoing renovation – Will the renovations be completed for my event?
- Fixed Price Quotes for future events – Will prices be guaranteed NOT to change?
- Past Deaths – Have you had ANY deaths or accidents at the venue?
Creating FAQs and FADQs is a great way to improve your systems and processes at your venue.
It is much better to brainstorm & decide in advance what the answers are to critical operational questions.
It’s a great way to ensure an AWESOME Customer Experience.
Just keep adding to your FAQs & FADQs , policies and procedures every time you find out something new or an unusual requests come up.
ABOUT David Staughton CSP CCEO – Hospitality Expert
Big Hat Professional Services can help you grow your hospitality business and improve your Function Event & Wedding Sales. David & Kevin can help you!
David Staughton CSP is an award-winning International keynote speaker, and experienced Small Business consultant. With over 15 years ‘hands on’ experience in the Hospitality industry, he speaks and consults on a wide range of hospitality business improvement in the areas of sales, staffing, service and strategy.
Kevin Kosky is a skilled business communications trainer. He is a specialist on inbound phone skills, presentation skills and delivering sales presentations. Kevin is an expert teacher of face to face communication skills like sales, supervision, and presentation skills.
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