Next to Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day is the second biggest revenue generator of the year. And although business for many operators seems to have fizzled, next weekend business will be sizzling. Lovers and hopeful lovers across the country will be scurrying to find reservations attempting to impress their wives, dates, fianc?s, and the potential, all of the above. Many of the restaurants I have checked are already booked for the big night. Yet, others still have empty seats and reservation pages. The bad news for the industry is that the celebration falls on a Saturday, already a busy restaurant day. The boost in revenue will come to those who promote the special lover’s day throughout the weekend. A Friday night Valentine’s Day meal or a Saturday afternoon lunch, designed for lovers may make menu sense.
I was enjoying my ritualistic Sunday Brunch at
Self promotion, through either table tents or check presenter cards are a great way to entice your regular customers- a captive audience- to continue to spend their dining dollars in an establishment that not only makes them comfortable, but that they can rely on.
This Valentine’s Day, get a bit creative with your menu. There is no reason to go over board with the ingredients or offerings as people are on budgets. With that in mind, your creativity can add a special ingredient to an evening people will love.
Ten tips to tantalize the heartstrings:
1). Make sure there are Hearts of Romaine on the menu.
2). Offer a complimentary glass of champagne to every diner. You [probably have some left over from New Year’s Eve.
3). Artichoke Heart Risotto is a popular entr?e item on Valentine’s Day.
4). Dining room lighting should be romantically dim.
5). Tables should host candlelight.
6). Staff uniforms- wrinkle free, cleaned and pressed.
7). Soft music, a must.
8). Strawberries dipped in chocolate served with Cr?me Fraiche is an easy, popular dessert that will generate a great margin.
9). This is a scrapbook evening. Print and date the specials menu. Make sure your name, address and phone number is on it. Your guests will take it if all went well.
10). Fill your candy dish with those ridiculous little sugared hearts with the foolish sayings on them. Put some on plate when you present the check. Comically, lovely.