3 Valentine’s Day Promotions Your Guests Will Love

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days in the restaurant industry. Don’t put off planning for this special day. Otherwise you may not be able to get everything ordered and delivered in time—especially with the supply chain problems we’re currently facing. (I’ve already been sending out texts to restaurant owners I work with, advising them to order champagne now and have an extra case or two as a backup.)

But before you finalize any orders, how do you entice couples to spend their Valentine’s Day at your establishment? Here are a few promotions your guests will love.

1. Offer Specialty Beverages

Champagne is an obvious classic for Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t love a champagne toast for two? If guests just want one glass of champagne, you can send the entire bottle to their table. It’s always nice to have a special on a split.

Get some raspberries that you can put in the champagne glasses. Sure, strawberries are more traditional. However, raspberries have the same effect while being smaller and requiring less effort.

If you want to get a little fancier in your drink options, work with your bar manager to create themed cocktails. I’ve found that a gin martini with a strawberry puree and a little rosemary is a hit. Practice the cocktails and take pictures to post on social media to get traction and boost excitement.

2. Use a Limited Menu

Looking for the dining experience to run smoothly all night long? Offer a price-fix menu rather than your full menu on Valentine’s Day. It will help you keep service efficient with smart menu offerings, items that can be served quickly and simply without sacrificing quality. Consider a few surf and turf options, such as:

  • Filets and other lean cuts
  • Lighter fish like Hailbut
  • Crab or lobster

And don’t forget to keep your vegetarian and vegan customers in mind when creating a specialty menu.

3. Don’t Forget About Dessert

Saving the best for last! Guests love ending their evenings with a small dessert, but you don’t need a lengthy dessert menu to keep them satisfied. In my experience, I found that a couple of options stood out from the rest:

  • Cheesecake – it’s one of the easiest cakes to produce in large batches. A slice of cheesecake paired with a raspberry sauce is a classic.
  • Stroopwafel – these small waffle cookies with a caramel filling are a nice treat to serve with coffee, particularly for the guests skipping dessert. They’re a great way to exceed expectations and put an exclamation point on the meal. I love serving these with coffee to end a meal because they keep the drink warm while adding a hint of caramel.

No matter what desserts you offer your guests, consider offering the dish with a small glass of champagne.

Bonus Tip: Keep Your Servers in Mind

Start getting your schedules in order now to make sure you’re well-staffed. Getting the staff in the building is the hardest problem, as most typically don’t want to work that day. By offering a limited menu to guests and setting the night up as a ticketed event in the reservation system, you can help make it as smooth a night as possible for your team. Offer a family buffet in the back for special days like this one so your staff has an opportunity to take quick snack breaks.

The year’s only just beginning, which means there will be plenty more promotional opportunities down the road. Fill out a contact form to set up an initial consult, and we’ll talk more about creating an experience guests will love. Cheers!