Hospitality venues can look forward to Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for increased footfall and boosted sales. However, Valentine’s Day isn’t always a day that managers love. Here’s our advice on how to make this year’s event a success.
Valentine’s Day is a great way for operators to drive increased sales. Being a special occasion, food menus should be specially made for the day. Create one-off dishes and consider adding more expensive ingredients to menu items that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to serve. Bubbles must be on the menu, obviously displayed to the customer, and possibly part of a promotional offer. Ensure that you offer a range of sparkling wine, from accessible prosecco to high-end champagne. This will allow you to quench the thirst of your guests’ cork-popping desires, whilst not pricing them out of the experience.
Don’t be afraid to over-do the site atmosphere – guests will want something special. Dim the lights, ensure tables have lit candles, play appropriate music, and don’t shy away from clichéd rose petals.
As customers will be willing to spend the extra cash on Valentine’s Day, you should make sure that they receive the highest level of service on the night. This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, so it’s important to staff appropriately for the increase in sales. You may have to rota members of your team on for the Wednesday night which may go against their usual working hours. Aim to try and get tables filled via prior reservation so that you can deploy the correct number of front and back of house staff to deliver the best level of service.
See how S4Labour can help you to rota the right staff numbers on to deliver great customer service and not over-staff during busy periods.
Help your staff to be best prepared for the night. They need to be looking their best and working their hardest to deliver memorable customer service. Make sure that they have manageable table areas, don’t rush their customers, and upsell as much as they can. Guests will be more likely to tip generously on Valentine’s Day and this can be a great incentive for your staff to be on top-form.
Despite the apparent opportunity for increased revenues, Valentine’s Day can be a tough date for some operators. For many it proves to be hard work for not a lot of return. Seating tables of two can limit the numbers of covers that most restaurants can serve in a night, especially if your site has fixed, larger tables. Because of this, it’s important that reservations are staggered so that guests aren’t rushed, but still optimising covers.
Take a Different Approach
Know your market, don’t feel obliged to put on a dining experience if that’s not what you specialise in and if it’s not what your customers are looking for. There are two big-ticket Champions League football matches being played on Valentine’s Day this year, Porto v Liverpool and Real Madrid v PSG. With many pubs marketing a Valentine’s Day themed evening, publicans may find big profits from marketing themselves as a destination away from the schmoozing and a home for exciting football and great beer.
If you’re worried about not standing out this Valentine’s Day, then give something different a try. Hosting a special event could boost footfall in your site and leave lasting memories with your customers. A speed-dating event on Valentine’s Day could be an exciting and different way to spend the 14th February for those who otherwise wouldn’t partake in the festivities.
S4Labour’s event tool is a great way to ensure that you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time to deliver great customer service and not running the risk of over-staffing.
With hospitality sites being ideal destinations for couples on Valentine’s Day, it is important that you market yourselves well. Social media campaigns and promotional offers will be sure to help you get numbers through the door and drive sales, whether you plan to offer nothing but romance, or an alternative evening’s entertainment.