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Why Restaurants Love Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a Boost For Your Business

This year, Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday. It is one of the busiest nights for restaurants and is a welcome relief from the post holiday slow down. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day through cost effective opportunities to increase traffic and maximize sales while offering something special to your customers.

The key is to build your event in the next few days and allow 2 to 4 weeks to promote your offer to potential customers. While you ensure every table of your restaurant will be booked in advance, prepare your premises to host the most romantic evening of the year.

Restaurants love Valentines Day

Turn up the Romance in Your Restaurant on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is personal and intimate. Create a comfortable atmosphere in your restaurant by adjusting the lighting:

  • Minimize the starkness of bright overhead lighting by using dimmers
  • Individual table lights are essential, votive or battery powered
  • LED drape tubes, rice paper lanterns or fairy lights are beautiful in windows or at the front desk
  • Ensure lighting from the kitchen is minimized in the dining room

Enhance Your Restaurant with a Touch of Formality

  • Remove any winter decorations and focus on Valentine’s Day theme of love and romance.
  • Heavier china and silverware add elegance
  • Flowers can be incorporated with table lighting (especially with water proof LED bulbs)
  • Large flower arrangements are impactful at the front entrance and on the bar area
  • Consider a softer playlist or live music and dancing for the evening

Valentine’s Day Menu

This is a perfect opportunity to have some fun with the menu and roll out some new ideas and gauge feedback. Add elements that are sumptuous, beautiful and aphrodisiacal.

  • Oysters and salmon
  • Asparagus
  • Truffles or truffle oil
  • Champagne and red wine
  • Chocolate vanilla and cream
  • Red chilies and ginger

Offer a shared dish for two that is unique or keeping within the theme of your restaurant:

  • A pasta dish with truffle oil or a cream sauce
  • Chateaubriand (a throwback to the 1960's, but so delicious!)
  • Fresh rice rolls with lobster
  • A plate of asparagus with hollandaise
  • An antipasti platter or shared appetizers

A Set Prix Fixe Menu is a Practical Solution

  • Set menus can be promoted well in advance
  • Customers can envision the menu and this helps book reservations
  • The kitchen has ample time to work with vendors to fulfill orders and perfect special dishes
  • Work with your favorite wine representative to add a free glass of wine into the menu

Promote your Valentine’s Day Event and Engage Your Customers

January is the time to start attracting reservations for February 14th! Create an e-flyer or poster highlighting Valentine’s Day, the menu, any contests, value-ads or special offers.

Use all of your advertising channels available to you such as

  • Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and your restaurant website
  • Restaurant app
  • Radio
  • Printed materials
  • In-house advertising (inserts in the menu, table talkers)
  • Trip Advisor, Yelp, or discount sites such as Scoutmob

Partner with a local business such as a flower shop, wine company or travel agency to offer a giveaway at your event.

Describe your event simply and clearly. Encourage early reservations by offering a discount for the first ten tables.  Promote any activities such as dancing or tongue-in-cheek cutesy items like a “Why I love you” checklist.

Organize your Valentine’s Day event now to ensure your business reaps the rewards of the busiest night of the year. Valentine’s Day is an 8 billion dollar a year industry as well as a wonderful night of romance—what’s not to love?

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