From surprise proposals to a dozen roses, Valentine’s Day is a special day for many. This takes many on a hunt to find the perfect place to spend their evening. With an average of $143 being spent on a Valentine’s Day dinner and a total of 19 billion being spent, it is one of the biggest nights of the year for the restaurant industry. As a restaurant it can be hard to stand out amongst the competition, but we have complied a list of some of the best ways to attract couples to your restaurant for an amazing experience.
Early Reservation Specials
Reservation! Reservations! Reservations! One of the biggest aspects of Valentine’s Day is securing the perfect reservation time. Things can become chaotic and overwhelming when customers wait till the last second to book a reservation. One way to entice customers to book early is by offering different early reservation promotions.
These deals can range from dessert to drink specials. It’s a simple promotion that will encourage dinners to book well in advance. Simply set a date that customers have to make their reservation by in order to receive the special.
It’s all about the little things! This Valentine’s Day show your customers that you care by going the extra mile. This can manifest in a variety of different ways, but be creative! Below is a short list of different ways to personalize the dinner experience;
- Name cards
- Personalized wine list/recommendations
- Proposal Packages
A quick way to receive more information from guest is to ask a few questions about their preferences while they are making their reservations. This also presents the opportunity to showcase different packages such as a proposal or flowers option. One possibility is to partner with a local florist to have flower orders prepared for guest. By collecting all this information during the reservation process it makes the process simple and gives your customers the ability to enhance their overall Valentine’s Day experience at your restaurant.
Valentine’s Day Drinks and Meals
With a large influx of diners on the special day one of the best ways to simplify your menu, without hindering a customers experience is with a price fixe menu. This gives you the opportunity to showcase your chef’s best dishes. Putting a Valentine’s Day spin on them is also a perfect way to celebrate the occasion, such as heart shaped deserts or red garnishes. Guest will definitely appreciate the added touches.
Don’t forget about the drinks! Being able too offer guest with the perfect pairing suggestions is a great way to encourage them to purchase glasses of wine with each course. For pairings with beef and fish options, check out our pairing guide!
There are also plenty of creative cocktails that offer the perfect cocktail experience, along with their creative names. Below is one of our favorites!
The Juliet & Romeo | Toby Maloney of The Violet Hour in Chicago
- 2 ounces gin
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 3 drops rose water
- 3 drops Angostura bitters
- 3 slices cucumber
- 3 sprigs mint
- A pinch of salt
Muddle the cucumber, mint and salt, reserving one mint leaf for garnish. Try to mash up the cucumber the most when you’re muddling. Add the rest of the ingredients, then let the drink sit for 30 seconds (time allowing) to better infuse the flavors. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with one floating mint leaf with one drop of rose water on top of the leaf, and then drizzle three or more drops of Angostura on the surface of the drink.
Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for some and the perfect opportunity to make a great impression on first time diners. One way to enhancing their experience is by providing guest with their own Valentines. These small gifts can be tokens of appreciation or even include special offers to encourage customers to come again.
Think beyond with Galentine’s Day
While February 14th is the main attraction, many groups of friends will be looking for places to celebrate Galentine’s Day. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is a day around Valentine’s Day dedicated to the girls. With small and large group’s of gals looking to celebrate each other and their friendship. Very few restaurants take advantage of this unofficial holiday, so this serves as the perfect opportunity to stand out amongst the masses. Offering different drink specials or even a special wine tasting opportunity with dinner is a simple, but perfect way to attract groups looking to celebrate Galentine’s Day.
Social Media Promotion
While all of these idea are essential in creating an amazing overall Valentine’s Day experience, it’s just as important to get the word out. One way to do this through social media. Giving sneak peeks to what diners can expect on Valentine’s Night is the perfect way to build up some excitement.
Sneak peeks of the special Valentine’s Day Menu, red speciality drinks, and different flower arrangements. The glimpses into what guest can expect on their evening will help encourage those on the fence to choose your restaurant as the place to be!
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