Best Practices for Your Restaurant on Valentine’s Day

One of the busiest days of the year for restaurants is fast approaching. Many couples have already made reservations to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic dinner out. There are many ways to ensure you’re prepared to host this crowd with the value they seek and expect for such an occasion. Set the scene with the following must-haves and best sellers for Valentine’s Day:

Tables for Two: Couples and pairs will be out in droves, no matter how many anti-Valentine’s Day campaigns spring up in resistance. Prepare your restaurant lay-out for incoming parties with the appropriate number of two-top tables. And while you may be fully booked before Feb. 14, it helps to show some love to the less organized duos by setting tables aside for the inevitable walk-ins.

A Valentine’s Day Menu: A menu showcasing Valentine’s Day specials proves you’ve done your homework and care about the details. Multi-course options including V-Day best sellers like lobster, crab, and oysters lend the opportunity to offer a little extra flair that customers can impress their dates with. But don’t forget to keep the singles happy, too. Nation’s Restaurant News reports fixed-price menus mixed with small plate options for singles and non-couples may do the trick.

Cook with Heart. Nothing says I love you like … a heart-shaped pizza? All jokes aside, heart-shaped food is a hit with families and couples alike. In addition to pizzas, some of the most popular heart-shaped fare includes cheese, pancakes, and even ravioli. But there’s nothing more accessible to the potential of a heart-shaped mold than dessert, which brings us to our next item…

Sweeten the Meal. If there’s one day in the year to indulge in dessert, this is it. Who could say no to a customized V-Day creation, whether it’s a modernist limoncello cake or a traditional crisp topped with whipped cream or fruit? A word to the wise: best-selling Valentine’s desserts tend to contain generous amounts of chocolate, with bonus points for the heart-shaped.

Set the Mood. Some restaurateurs consider bringing on live music to entertain the night’s large clientele. For others, setting the mood can be as simple as recreating your table settings with a Valentine’s Day flower arrangement. You can even make your specials stand out with romantic names or give your Valentine’s Day spread a unique theme; Brooklyn’s Brucie, for instance, is garnering fame for their Beyonce-themed menu.

Highlight your restaurant’s best sellers on Valentine’s Day. With Intelligent Reporting on the Revel iPad POS, track last year’s most successful menu items for inclusion in your featured specials.