It’s time to snap out of the post-Christmas blues and put some romantic ideas out there. Valentine’s Day is not always an exceptional day for restaurants, but we predict this year will be a good year, mainly because it falls on a Friday.
We’ve gathered three top tips to making the most of Valentine’s Day this year.
#1 Do something for Valentine’s Day. But don’t overdo it
While Valentine’s sounds like another big commercial day, hospitality businesses report that it is usually a hit and miss case. General Manager Costa, of Sergio’s, an Italian restaurant located in the heart of London, says that their restaurant finds Valentine’s Day relevant, but that the effort they put in has to be in proportion to what they have discovered their customers to respond well to.
“Every year, we give a stem of a red rose to each couple that comes in,” says Costa. People love flowers on Valentine’s Day. To the right side of the wall of Sergio’s is a Valentine’s themed decoration on the wall and Costa has prepared Valentine’s themed flyers, but he clarifies that the last touches are just small preparations for the day itself.
He adds that Sergio’s has had great success with Valentine’s, but that the main task a hospitality business needs to find out is the balance of where to invest commercial energy.
“We do put up red balloons and play some romantic music, but we don’t change our menu. We tried making a set menu a few years ago but we didn’t find that effective and we lost customers from it. Now we just stick to our menu that we know works, and let our customers choose as usual.”
#2 Split Seating for those on a date
Valentine’s Day also means that restaurants need to think logistically about how seating will be mapped for the night. Split seating is necessary, but don’t let the cupids get to your head. Keep in mind that this year the day falls on a Friday and you’ll have to accommodate people who are coming in bigger groups too. Depending on your region, you may have to make more or fewer amendments to your seating plan.
#3 Understand where and who you will win business from
Taking a closer look at the demographics, we found that men are three times more likely to be spending on 14th February than women. According to a statistics report published last year, it was found that residents of Yorkshire and Hunter are less likely to celebrate the day than the rest of the country. 37.3% planned on not celebrating Valentine’s Day, followed by the West Midlands 35.5% and East Midlands at 33.3%.
So who exactly is splashing out cash this year? Statistics also revealed that Londoners are the biggest Valentine’s Day celebrators at 75.3% reporting they intended to celebrate last year, followed by Northern Ireland at 73.2%.
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