Why Is The Hospitality Room So Important at Indian Weddings?

Indian culture places a very strong emphasis on family and community. There’s a Hindi saying, “mehman Bhagwan hotein hain” which means guests are God. So that should be your first clue to answer, “why is the hospitality room so important at Indian weddings?”

As you may have experienced with the Indian weddings that you have worked on, they are family events. The couple are not the sole decision makers. Both sets of parents and often siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents are involved.

This family orientation extends to the community – their friends who are the guests at these weddings. And the guests are not just the couples friends but their parents friends as well.

And the hospitality room at the venue is one manifestation of this community orientation. The host families feel a sort of obligation to host their guests that are staying at the overnight hotel for all meals that are outside of the actual wedding events. Mainly this means breakfast, but in some cases it includes lunch too.

{Recent Personal Experience}

About a month ago I attended my cousin’s Indian wedding at a 4-star resort. The sangeet was on Friday night and the wedding and reception were on Saturday. None of the relatives were locals – everyone flew in for the wedding — about 60 people. Hosting all 60 relatives at the wedding resort for 2 nights, at peak summer rates, would have cost them an additional $30,000-$35,000!

So what did they do?

They hosted us at a budget (but nice) hotel about 2.5 miles from the resort. It worked out nicely as breakfast was already included in the room rate. Everyone paid for their own rental cars so getting to/from the resort was easy.

But they didn’t stop there.

Since the wedding wasn’t until 4pm on Saturday, they hosted all 60 relatives for lunch on Saturday as well. AND they covered our valet parking at the resort on Friday night as well as Saturday. And actually, while the breakfasts and lunches were for relatives only, hosted valet parking was for all wedding guests – about 300 – so about 75 cars.

The hotel where we stayed, setup a separate banquet room for us to eat. They actually gave us access to that room all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. When we weren’t eating in there, we used it to practice the Bollywood dances for the wedding.

So, how is this information useful to Catering Executives? How can you create additional revenue from this? How can you use the hospitality room to seal the deal on new business?

{Hospitality Room Tips for Catering Executives}

The hospitality room is important. Pretty much every Indian wedding will want/need a hospitality room or some solution to serve breakfast at the hotel. So you can approach it in a couple of ways:

Include it in your outside catering package. Include it as an amenity that distinguishes your venue from the competition and will help you get passed the first round of venues that get cut from the consideration set.

Use The Hospitality Room as Negotiation Tool. As you may have experienced, Indian people negotiate before signing the venue contract. You can use the hospitality room to sweeten the deal. Consider waiving the room rental fee, allow them to bring in their own food, but charge for beverages and labor.

ProTip: Couples are trying to keep their costs as low as possible for the hospitality room. So, weigh the costs vs. the overall piece of business to determine how/what you will charge them for.

ProTip: Once couples narrow down to the final 2-3 venues they’re considering, amenities like the hospitality room become increasingly influential in steering them towards one venue over others.

Have you read our article on How Consumers Compare/Contrast Venues for an Indian Wedding?

This article is part of our series

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