Making Valentine’s Day Revenue Work for You After the Romance Flutters

(Blogger’s Note: This is the first of a three part series focusing on conserving Valentine’s Day revenue). 


 There is happiness on the horizon. According to the latest research, and some economic indicators, this Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for a financial boost for restaurants across the country.


In a recently released sales forecast, IBISWorld expects total Valentine’s Day spending to increase 3.3 percent from last year. Sales should reach $17.6 billion, according to the firm. And, since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, consumers are expected to move their spending from gifts and retail to restaurants and dining out. According to their findings, candy, jewelry and flowers will decrease in popularity this Valentine’s Day.


As previously stated here, restaurants will gain traffic throughout the weekend due to the double-holiday boost: President’s Day falls on Monday, February 15. Ths may be the time to pull out the specal linen and table settings…(more on this tomorrow).


The three days will directly affect the futures of many restaurants that have hung on, grasping for full dining rooms, throughout the bleak month of January while looking towards increased February sales. Most restaurants will notice an increase in covers and per person spending throughout the weekend, however, sales alone is not the single solution to a brighter March.


Anticipating sales to continue to increase after the Holiday could prove disappointing to owners who have not implemented steps to absorb decreased volume.  Adapting to less cash flow by trimming expenses is the focus of successful owners who realize weathering the financial storm may entail altering operations in acceptance of a sociological lifestyle changes.


Peoples spending habits have changed over the past eighteen months. For over 10  million people in the county,  unemployment has become a lifestyle. And, for those who have a perceived secure lifestyle, spending habits have been reevaluated and disposable income reclassified. Yes, Americans have gone back to household budgets while reeling in the free spending habits of the past decade.


This is not necessarily bad news for the hospitality industry and restaurant owners unless you are adverse to exploring change.


Since Valentine’s Day is much of a tease for restaurants as it is for lovers- although you will see an affectionate boost in volume, as soon as the three day foray has ended,  sales will plummet and probably not pick up again until the following Friday.


As is true with every holiday cycle, the increased revenue realized will disappear quickly if you don’t make food cost and payroll alterations plans and implement those on Tuesday, February 16.


It’s easy to run a restaurant when the economy is growing, customers are flush with disposable income and cash, and everyone is in a continual mood to celebrate. The difference between playing restaurant and eventually realizing disaster, or developing a foundation and building a business is the ability to adapt to economic conditions. These past months have proven that.


With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching take advantage of the opportunity to conserve the increased cash the weekend will generate. Develop a plan to trim expenses and lower costs.  If you don’t work on this now you won’t be able to reap the rewards of  before kissing the cash away.


Tomorrow: Ten tips on cutting costs, decreasing expenses.