Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you have not been preparing your restaurant for the holiday, you should.
As the second most popular day for eating out, Valentine’s Day is an excellent opportunity to market your restaurant as the go-to place for the holiday.
With that in mind, there are a few steps you can take to create the perfect V-Day atmosphere.
Create Deals & Advertise Them
While Valentine’s Day is often a day to splurge on a significant other, more and more couples are looking for budget-friendly ways to have a romantic dinner. Cater to these couples looking for a good deal by creating Valentine’s Day specials.
For example, a special on steak dinners or a three course price-fixed meal that includes a glass of wine or champagne is a great way to entice guests to visit your restaurant over competitors.
These deals will not only draw in regulars who normally wouldn’t purchase a steak dinner, but also attract new guests who are looking for the best deals.
It is also critical to remember that Valentine’s Day is not all about couples — families and singles also go out on Valentine’s Day — so be sure to include deals for them as well.
Finally, you must advertise these deals online on your website and social media page to get the word out ahead of time so guests can plan their night accordingly.
Create An Exclusive Menu
For Valentine’s Day, couples are often looking to do something different from their normal dining out routine, which creates the perfect opportunity to tempt them with an exclusive food and drink menu.
Spin your usual offerings or offer exclusive one-night-only meals like crab cakes or lamb to give your guests something different. It is also a good time to push your more expensive wines to make the night extra special.
When creating a new menu, remember to take food costs into consideration so you do not go overboard; especially if you are catering to guests who have dietary restrictions or lifestyles like vegan or gluten-free.
What sounds more romantic: Getting seated the moment you are greeted at a restaurant or waiting for a table in the waiting room?
Since Valentine’s Day is a very busy holiday for restaurants, encourage guests to make reservations so they aren’t waiting for a table. This can be done through your advertising.
Reservations will also help you get an idea of how many guests will be present that night, allowing you to prepare your staff and get the supplies you need.
Set The Atmosphere
Your restaurant’s atmosphere should be romantic, but unique. Instead of the cliché paper hearts, consider new themes that will make the evening a one-of-a-kind romantic experience.
For example, theming the restaurant around classical romance movies, the beach, or even a romantic song can offer a unique atmosphere to your restaurant that sets you apart from the rest.
Emphasize Excellent Customer Service
No one wants their Valentine’s Day to be ruined by unfriendly or inattentive staff. Be sure to emphasize to your employees the important of the night and not to make customers feel rushed. They should also know the day’s special menu and drink options.
Finally, make sure someone is answering the phone and that your staff is well-versed on how to use your restaurant’s POS system so guests are not waiting a long time to get their check and card back.
If you have a loyalty program, now is a good idea to offer sign-ups for a later discount.