Top Tips for Hospitality this Valentine’s Day
Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is a key date on the calendar for many and is a chance to spend some quality time with that special someone. For many couples, this means seeking out a romantic venue to treat themselves and their partners. Which is great news for pubs, bars and restaurants!
So how can you make the most of this opportunity and ensure your bar or restaurant is the perfect destination for romance this Valentine’s Day?
Review Your Layout
You may still get some larger parties, but bookings will mostly come from couples on February 14th. Split up your larger tables to maximise the number of smaller ones and offer your diners privacy. You may need to offer multiple sittings, so ensure you allocate enough time for each booking. Rushing couples through their meal is not great for romance!
Special Nights Call for Special Menus
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to offer something special for your customers. Is there a special dish your chef is renowned for or something that has always proved a hit in the past? Creating a Valentine’s Specials Board or Menu can help make the experience a little bit more exciting. Having a set menu can also help manage the kitchen and keep service prompt. Classic dishes such as smoked salmon, fresh fish, steak, chocolate and strawberries are always winners!
As always, make sure you use the best ingredients you can get, and have plenty of stock – expectations are high on big occasions like Valentine’s Day and you don’t want to disappoint.
Consider how long you want to run the menu for – February 14th is a Tuesday this year so you may get bookings across both weekends and the week in between. With new dishes and a tempting menu, you may be able to push the price points a little higher too, if demand is high.
Why not speak to your EPOS supplier to see if they can help? Langley Business Systems offer a professional menu-building service for busy clients who don’t have the time to do it themselves!
Don’t Forget the Wine
Even if you already have a well stocked wine list, you may want to consider adding some extra touches. Red wine, rose and fizz will be popular so make sure you have the wine rack (and the fridge!) well stocked. It may also be worth keeping a bottle of champagne or two on ice also – to be ready for any unexpected proposals that occur during the evening!
Valentine’s Cocktails are also a fun way to introduce something different. Classic champagne and fruit cocktails are always popular – check out these great recipes if you are looking for some inspiration.
Booking is Essential
When you advertise your Valentine’s Day menu (which you should be doing well in advance) let your guests know that they will need to pre-book. This will help you manage demand, as well as help you organise sufficient staff and supplies.
A professional hospitality EPOS system, such as the one from Langley Business Systems, comes with an integrated table reservation system to help make your life easier. App ordering and mobile payments can also help streamline the service and minimise interruptions to the happy couples as they enjoy their meals.
Dim the Lights
Atmospheric lighting is key to creating the right mood. Bright lights might be great for party nights but not for intimate dining. Dimming the lights will create a cosy atmosphere, which is more welcoming. Better still, add a candle or a tealight to every table to really ramp up the romance.
And don’t just leave it there! Adding some small decorations to the venue (think hearts and fairy lights), and perhaps adding flowers to the table are all good ideas. And don’t forget the music. A soundtrack of classic love songs will ensure your guests are in the mood for romance.
Don’t Forget the Singles
Not everyone is coupled up on Valentine’s Day. And not everyone wants to eat out. Make sure an alternative menu is available for anyone dining alone or in larger groups.
Having a take-away menu is also a great way of appealing to the couples who are struggling to have a night out, or are watching their budgets. There’s more than one way to say ‘I love you’!
So there you go. Our top tips on how to share the love this Valentine’s Day. As always, please share them with your friends or colleagues, and please let us know what your top tips are for Valentine’s Day this year- we would love to hear from you!
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