when to use a restaurant for your event

when to host your event at a restaurant versus a hotel or banquet facility

There are often so many options of venues for your event, especially in a large city like Washington, DC or New York. There are different types of venues that are ideal for certain events. There are certain kinds of events that are ideal for a restaurant.

Now, when I refer to a restaurant, I mean just a restaurant. A restaurant that might have a private room, but that isn’t a banquet facility.

The difference between a restaurant and a hotel or banquet facility is how they make money. A restaurant makes money through casual diners. A hotel or banquet facility makes money through events (at least the catering department of a hotel – let’s not worry about all the other revenue streams for hotels, such as on-site restaurants, sleeping rooms, etc.).  If a restaurant primarily makes money through casual diners, they need to make sure if they are giving part of the restaurant to a private event, that they are making as much money with the event as they would if they just had regular diners in that space.

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loews madison hotel washington dc

loews madison hotel in washington dc

The Loews Madison has been around for a while – just not always as a Loews. The hotel opened in 1963 and for many years was managed by Loews, but then was sold, and sold again and now it’s a Loews, referred to as the Loews Madison Hotel. We recently did an event in the ballroom. I was covering this event for a colleague, so I hadn’t done the initial site visit, but I was pleasantly surprised by the space.


The Loews Madison is in a great location in downtown DC. It’s relatively centrally located. I actually drove over and had never been there before and missed the valet parking – you actually pull into the parking garage (as opposed to other area hotels where the valet takes your car from in front of the hotel).

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the skirvin hilton in oklahoma city – an update

hilton skirvin | amanda jayne events blog

I recently lived at for a week hosted a meeting at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City. I had been there for a site visit in July and now after getting much more intimately acquainted with the property, I wanted to share my thoughts.

To begin, let me just say that our meeting was a small conference with about 45 participants. The hotel was one of several properties in a room block for a much larger conference (750 participants) in the days immediately following our event, with some overlap, and they hosted a few events on site as well. We knew this going into the meeting, and we positioned our event where we did because many of our attendees (about half) were also attending the larger conference. If you are a regular reader of my blog (thank you!) you may surmise that this situation was what prompted me to write When your meeting is a small fish in a big pond.

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when your meeting is a small fish in a big pond

when your meeting is a small fish in a big pond

Sometimes you’re a small fish in a big pond, or at least, your meeting or event is. Depending on where you are hosting your meeting and what else is going on in that venue, there are bound to be times when your event isn’t getting the priority treatment because there is something else going on that is bigger, more complicated, more important, more expensive, or maybe a more valued client.

Hotels like to tell you that each and every meeting is important to them but I can understand that everyone needs to make tradeoffs – it’s the ugly truth, sometimes you become the small fish and the big fish gets all the attention.

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