Valentine’s Day is a holiday full of love and adoration for that special someone in your life. One of the most common ways to celebrate this love is to go out for a nice meal and exchange presents, perhaps even experience a proposal or two! For restaurant owners, this holiday is not only about welcoming love birds into your restaurant for an excellent night. There are many ways to grow sales opportunities with key holiday-centric strategies. So grab a box of heart-shaped chocolates and get ready to fall in love with these strategies that will help you grow your sales on Valentine’s Day.
Focus on Getting Reservations
Many people expect restaurants to be packed during Valentine’s Day. Encourage this thought process by promoting that your establishment has reservations available for the holiday. As you advertise that you have reservations available, showcase some of the unique meal offerings and specials that your restaurant will provide to couples who make a reservation. Remember that every reservation is a booked sale. Once you get them in the door, you have an opportunity to grow these sales more with your offerings and trained waitstaff.
Create Pre-Fixed Menus for Two
It is all about the menu when it comes to a great Valentine’s Day dinner. Patrons will fall on the razor edge of wanting an amazing meal without overpaying for it. This is the perfect opportunity to maximize your sales. Creating a pre-fix menu for two will provide a complete multi-course meal with delicious options at what the patron considers a great deal for all they receive. Ensure this menu has an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert option for one price. You can increase your sales by coming up with a main dish that uses an inexpensive cut of meat that you can make money on, such as beef short ribs, tri-tip, or heavily marbles top sirloin cap steaks. The menu should also have upgrade and additional dish options to further increase your sales opportunities.
Offer Specials on Beer and Wine Pairings
Put some time into different wine and beer pairings to go with your pre-fix menu and decide what special offer you would like to present to couples eating at your restaurant. It could be a bottomless option for one price, or a discounted price if they purchase a certain meal. Likewise, you could offer a beer and wine happy hour on Valentine’s Day for the hours where you have few reservations or less traffic, such as 3pm-5pm.
Infuse Your Restaurant with Valentine Motifs
For some extra fun, try including these facts about the holiday throughout your restaurant! These can be callouts on your special valentine menus, created as table pieces, placed as signs, or shelled out by your waitstaff as they are serving meals. Don’t forget to also set the mood with candles, flowers, and notes of red and pink throughout your establishment! Setting the mood this way makes your atmosphere more fun and romantic, encouraging people to splurge more on wine or go for a dessert.
- The holiday is named after a 3rd century priest named St. Valentine who performed secret marriages against the wish of Roman Emperor Claudius II. At the time, it was believed that single men would be more likely to enlist in the army.
- St. Valentine, whom the holiday is named after, healed a jailer’s blind daughter. Before he was executed, he sent the daughter a letter signed “From your Valentine”. This is where the tradition of sending love notes is believed to have originated.
- King Henry VIII declared Valentine’s Day a national religious holiday in 1537. It was decommissioned as religious holiday in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
- The Italian city of Verona where the play Romeo and Juliet was set receives around 1,000 letters every Valentine’s Day addressed to Juliet.
- There was a superstition in the middle ages that said if you were single, you would end up marrying the first single person you met of the opposite sex on Valentine’s Day.
- 8 billion candy hearts are produced every year, enough to stretch from Valentine, AZ to Rome, Italy and come back again.
- While women buy 85% of valentine cards sold, men spend twice as much on valentine gifts.
- 50 million roses are given on Valentine’s Day around the world and 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold.
- 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year in the US alone.
Are you looking for more ways to grow your restaurant sales throughout the year? Check out our blog about selling the sizzle, not the steak to increase sales.