Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and this year February 14th lands on a Thursday, which gives you the opportunity to turn the night into one of your best sales days of the year.
Here are some thoughts you might consider as you plan your Valentine’s Day program:
- Promote the Day. Use your customer database to connect with returning guests and promote the event on social media to let your target market know about your specials for the evening.
- Reorganizing your tables. remove larger tables and bring in additional two covers.
- Prepare your staff. Meet with the FOH team to coordinate your seating plan and get your service staff on the same page. Decide earlier if you will focus on table turn by reducing service sequence times, or ticket averages by accentuating appetizers and desserts. Speak these targets to your staff so they know what is important to you and can work together as a team. Don’t adopt that your team will respond accurately to a high-pressure night event, make sure to highlight the details more than once, and train as necessary to allow your staff to handle the extra load.
- Consider tweaking or designing a special menu. To ensure that the kitchen runs as smoothly as possible, consider provisionally freezing menu items that require extra prep, or are challenging to make. Focus on changing the menu not only to select items with high gross profit margins but also to balance the capacity between each of your kitchen stations. Many managers move to a fixed price menu with upsell/upgrade options to satisfy guests’ desires to dine up for the occasion.
- Create the WOW element. Consider informing your waiters to deliver dinner mints, a hand-written card, or small gift with the presentation of the bill. Some restaurants are delivering fresh, misted roses to each table, or heart-shaped balloons…get creative
Set aside some time to create a Valentine’s Day program for
your restaurant and get your staff updated with the plan to prepare for a busy
and very profitable evening. Every minute you devote planning in advance will
be compensated as you improve your guest experience for this exceptional event,
and ultimately, your bottom line.
Use this opportunity also to build customer loyalty, attract new guests and have a more profitable February!