In a couple short weeks, the sidewalks will be flooded with couples on their way to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. As a restaurant industry professional, does this day always seem to have you seeing red? Change things up this year with our tips for a successful Valentine’s Day service. We’ll help you see green instead!
Valentine’s Day in 2020 promises to be especially busy, as it falls on a Friday. Here are some ways to prepare for the inevitable rush of reservations and spontaneous guests.
Change Up the Menu
Sit down with your chef to discuss special Valentine’s Day dishes. You don’t have to craft a completely new menu. Instead, work with your kitchen staff to think of ways you could rearrange the dishes you already serve to be more “lovable”. For example, if one of the items on your menu is a hand-tossed pizza, try tossing that pizza into a heart shape. You can also temporarily re-name some of your popular dishes to go along with the Valentine’s Day theme. Some examples could be:
- “You’ve Caught Me” Fish & Chips
- Chocolate “I Lava You” Cake
- “On Fire for You” Roast Chicken
If you’ve got a knack for being “punny”, now is the time to let your creativity shine!
Adjust Your Table Configurations
It’s safe to say that most guests will arrive at your restaurant in pairs on Valentine’s Day. We recommend adjusting the floor plan of your restaurant in preparation. By condensing larger tables down into tables for two or four, you’ll be ready to accommodate as many happy couples as possible on the big day. Take your table optimization one step further by placing a small box of chocolates or complimentary glass of champagne at reserved tables.
Request Reservation Deposits
Speaking of reservations, they are very important for both you and your guests on Valentine’s Day. In fact, a Valentine’s Day reservation is so important to some guests, that they make multiple with different restaurants. While a convenient fail-safe for the customer, this is less than ideal for you. If you’re left waiting on a party who is already seated at another restaurant, you’re losing more than just their business. You’re losing time and tables you could have offered to other people waiting without reservations. To prevent this frustrating situation from happening on one of your busiest days of the year, request a deposit to hold reservations. This will help protect your business from no-shows, and you can make sure the deposit goes toward the guest’s meal.
Set Your Staff Up for Success
When setting the schedule for Valentine’s Day, we recommend choosing your most experienced staff. On such a busy and important day, you probably don’t want to be training new wait staff or hosts. Take extra time to prepare the staff who will be working the big day. Brief them on any specials, how many reservations you are expecting, if any special requests have been made, and any VIP guests who may be in attendance. Everyone’s ultimate goal should be to offer the perfect guest experience.
We hope these tips will help you minimize headaches and improve profits this Valentine’s Day. Remember, this is a day to celebrate love and happiness. Even though things may get hectic, do your best to show compassion and appreciation to each guest, so that everyone may have a lovely evening.