Love is in the air, and celebrating Valentine’s Day at your restaurant allows you to attract new guests, offer something unique to your regulars, test out new dishes or LTOs, and build your bottom line. About 49 per cent of people celebrated Valentine’s last year in a restaurant, so create an event that gets guests excited and helps maximize your margins.
Whether you choose to host on the actual day, the closest weekend, or across multiple days, there are a few factors you need to consider to make your Valentine’s Day celebration a success.
Get in the mood
Stand out from the crowd with a romantic ambience with mood lighting, soft music, and tables that are spread wide enough to give guests privacy. Think about your menu, too, getting creative with adding themed drinks and desserts and share plates for couples to enjoy together – you could even get creative with dishes based on famous couples or romantic comedies for a unique twist on the holiday.
Keep it simple
Make it as easy as you can for your guests, your schedule, and your kitchen! Consider taking reservations and offering early access for regular customers to fill those tables and give your best customers special treatment. Boost loyalty, too, by offering perks or points for people who book through your app or have reached a certain milestone.
Ensure that your all reservations, menu, and event information are easy to access through your social media channels and on your website so people can find the details and plan ahead for their visit.
Gather for Galentine’s
Want to try something a little different? Rather than celebrating couples, you might want to offer something for Galentine’s Day to attract groups celebrating friendship. This might look like hosting a brunch, offering themed happy hour specials, or providing a list of creative food and beverage pairings. You could make it even more fun with live entertainment, a photo booth, donated prizes, and more to make the festivities extra memorable.
While many couples like to go out to celebrate, about 25 per cent of couples celebrated at home with takeout or delivery last year, so don’t forget about guests looking for off-premise dining. Create a meal that is just as delicious at home as it is in your restaurant, with courses, dessert features, cocktail kits, and more. Here’s a great way to make it a family affair, too, as couples with kids may want to be at home with the family, so include kids’ options as part of your menu to attract families and increase guest cheques.
However you choose to celebrate the holiday, be sure to spread the word – and the love – on social media, through loyalty purchases, on your website and on-site so guests know your restaurant is the place to be to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.