Valentine’s Day is one day that has remained one of the most celebrated days for both teenagers and adult lovers in Nigeria. That means date night and full restaurants. On Valentine’s Day, eating out is one activity that couples enjoy to get a romantic experience.
As a restaurant owner/manager, why not allure the love birds with your magical touch? Transport them to another world with candlelit dinners, romantic ambiance, or a love-themed Valentine’s Day special. Many restaurants are overwhelmed during valentine’s season, so you need a good strategy to fill up your restaurant.
Valentine’s Day for many people serves as a perfect opportunity to prove their love and devotion to their loved ones. While some will buy gifts, others will bring their lover to dinner in a romantic restaurant. To many people, it is always a plus to spice things up with delicious food, a different atmosphere, and wine on Valentine’s Day. Thus, it is a day for you to attract new guests by giving an unforgettable experience. Let your restaurant be their choice to have a private and quality time by following these ideas.
We know we are beginning to sound like a broken record because of how often we emphasize a need for planning in our articles. But there are millions of people celebrating this Valentine’s day, so plan to create something special for your guests on this day.
All your intentions should be well planned and documented. From the menu to the ambiance, every detail is necessary. If you start planning Valentine’s Day on time, then you can expect much traffic and positive feedback at your restaurant.
It is no brainer that guests coming for their Valentine’s Day dinner will expect a level of privacy. A romantic dinner in a restaurant calls for a table set for two. Create as many tables of two as possible but be sure to have some large tables for families or friend groups. Be sure to go over these floor plan changes with your waiters and staff. Guide them on how to sit large parties away from couples.
Changing your floor plans can also reduce the number of empty seats, ultimately increasing capacity. When making reservations, keep in mind that ICG FrontRest provides a feature within the management console to completely redesign a floor plan and manage reservations conveniently.
Preparing your restaurant for Valentine’s Day should go past the menu and seating arrangements. Change or switch the decor to fit the romantic mood of Valentine’s day, (all your Christmas trees and decor should be taken down and put back in storage). Plan the entertainment, and add more flair to your staff personality. Wow, even your regulars when they walk in for their Valentine reservation.
When creating the Valentine atmosphere in your restaurant, choose a theme that fits seamlessly with the restaurant concept. The goal is to create an experience that your guests will tell their friends. Remember, the table decorations should be subtle, refined, and not get in the way of eating and conversation.
For entertainment, if you have a television in your dining room, this is an opportunity to play romantic movies. There is also the option of live entertainment. If these options are not your style, play subtle and smooth music over your speaker system, not too loud nor too low otherwise, it ruins the atmosphere.
Think about your staff appearance. Will a different uniform be provided for them or pins promoting the holiday, or something more upscale?
Finally, lighting! Set the mood by swapping your daylight lightbulbs for a more soft white. You can also get battery-operated candles. This way, you avoid fire hazards.
Is your restaurant Instagram worthy or unique enough to attract content creators and social media influencers to take and post photos? Create a specific area so enticing one can not help but take a picture as they walk by the spot. As guests take pictures, remind them of your social media presence by requesting to be tagged in their beautiful picture shots. You can take it a step ahead by creating a hashtag dedicated to Val day. Doing this helps create more awareness for your restaurant as you attract more guests when you have more people talking about it online.
5. Make Special Moments Extra Special
Valentine’s Day is a go-to-day for making romantic relationships official and hitting milestones such as proposals. Give your guest a hand by helping them create an enchanting experience.
Put together promotions for guests who want to pop the question on Valentine’s Day. Provide special champagne, dessert presentation, special message on restaurant television, and even congratulations from staff. Deliver a romantic dinner that any couple will remember for years. All of these require proper preparation. Put up signs indicating this promotion weeks ahead of Valentine’s day in visible areas but not grabbing too much attention. Explain what the proposal experience could be like and showcase other promotions you might be running as well.
If you use a good point of sales system, you certainly have in your database contact information of couples who often come to your restaurant together or your guests that you know that are in a relationship. Send them greeting cards for Valentine’s Day via mail. Let the greeting card be a greeting card, not an advertisement for restaurant offers. You can also come up with a copy that piques their curiosity, something like Free dessert for couples during Valentine’s day dinner at our restaurant, which is not a blatant advertisement to include in your message. Your thoughtfulness would entice them to come in eventually.
Another way to extend Valentine’s day promotion is to consider couples who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day but can not go out on the 14th of February. You could organize a special offer throughout the week. That way, you provide a celebration for everyone while having double the traffic and profits.
While most Valentine’s day restaurant promotions are targeted at couples, keep in mind that not everyone will be able to leave their kids at home. You can consider creating a Valentine’s Day special for families by including kid-friendly experiences. These special should consist of entertainment for the kids like games, balloons, and a list of kid-friendly meals for Valentine’s Day, keeping the kids engaged in their activities while their parent enjoys a great meal. A portion of your restaurant can be isolated and adjusted to the needs for safekeeping the kids so their parents do not need to worry about them on their special night.
Take-out and delivery services have steadily risen in popularity even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and many couples who are still too weary to sit in restaurants will make use of this service to have a good time even in the comfort of their home.
You can make Valentine’s Day beautiful for your at-home diners by creating an exquisite restaurant experience for them at home. Offer a preset menu of Valentine’s special or the classic three-course meal (starter, entrée, and dessert). You can also make the customer experience extra special by including sentimental presents like flowers to the delivery, and as a bonus, you reinforce customer loyalty while maximizing revenue. So instead of using a third-party app that would require a commission, direct customers to order directly from your store using your in-house restaurant ordering system like the Omega O-menu that can be set up the same day with no hardware required.
Finally, it is advisable to start your restaurant promotions for Valentine’s Day early enough so you have enough time to inform potential guests about your special offer. In a way, this ensures that all your tables are booked in advance allowing for better organization for this special day.
Actively promote your special offers through your website, social networks, and printed materials. You can encourage guests to make reservations by offering discounts. For example, the first 20 reservations, get a 5% discount on their total spend. Also, place ads about your offers for Valentine in front of your restaurant so it would be visible to passersby.
So this Valentine, use the love fever to increase your income, give magic and deliver a spectacular and romantic dining experience that will result in long term retention.
Using these unique ideas, choose one or more ways to enrich your restaurant. Stand apart from other restaurants, and give that Valentine!
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