Catering Sales Executives: Why the Hospitality Room is So Important at Indian Weddings

The South Asian culture places a very strong emphasis on family and community. There’s a Hindi saying, “mehman Bhagwan hotein hain” = guests are God. As you have probably experienced with the Indian weddings that you have worked on, these are family events. The bride and groom are not the sole decision makers. Both sets of parents and often even siblings, aunts and uncles 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.

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 cousins 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 55 people. Hosting all 55 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 55 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 lunch 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 useful to Catering Executives? How can you create additional revenue from this? How can you use the hospitality room to close new business?

{Hospitality Room Tips for Catering Executives}

The hospitality room is important. Pretty much every Indian wedding will want-need this so you can approach it in a couple of ways:


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


Use it 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 ShaadiShop’s series

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Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues

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Contact us: sales@shaadishop.co


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{Testimonials}

“We’re so glad we joined ShaadiShop to market this hotel to the South Asian community in the Orange County area. Every wedding we close from their leads returns more than 3x our investment. Moreover, they pre-qualify leads and educate consumers creating a much better sales cycle for our catering team. Venues looking to reach this market, join ShaadiShop!”

Thanks!

Ryan Hurd
Catering Sales Manager
Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove


“We just booked a full Indian wedding through ShaadiShop at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. In addition to the business, we appreciate the exposure ShaadiShop creates about our venue, as the couple didn’t know about our resort until ShaadiShop told them about us. Additionally, we appreciate the pre-qualification work that ShaadiShop does to match couples and venues that are a good fit for each other. We had all the info needed to conduct the initial meeting. What a great service for venues to market to the South Asian community!”

Angie Florence
Catering Sales Manager
Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort


“Cannot say enough good things about the service from Samta and ShaadiShop who helped us research venues for our wedding this year. We wanted a non-hotel venue, and to get married within 6 months. ShaadiShop immediately found us venues, contacted them and educated us about all the things we needed to think about while selecting a venue. They put all the info together in a fabulous, super impressive, spreadsheet that helped us compare venues – seriously amazing and such a great help. Working with them made the whole stressful process MUCH easier and I can’t believe it was all free! ShaadiShop’s website is fantastic and such a great service for South Asians – so glad I found them!”

Anjli Shah, Bride


“Shaadishop helped me not only find venues but also understand how they work, the fees, and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Definitely a need service in the desi community. And best of all, it was free!!”

Hinna Shaikh, Bride


 

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