This Thursday, love will be in the air and couples will be sharing romantic dinners together at their favorite spots all across the nation. Regardless of the nature of your restaurant, this holiday is a major opportunity to boost sales. Americans spend an estimated eight billion dollars — billion with a ‘b’ — dining out on this special day. According to the National Restaurant Association, atmosphere and special menus or promotions are deciding factors for choosing a Valentine’s Day restaurant. Read on for our suggestions on making your restaurant stick out.  

Menu Makeover

Consider switching it up. Valentine’s Day is a great time to try out new dishes and trends. Add new flavors, local ingredients, a special alcohol pairing to the menu, or even aphrodisiacs to spice things up. This will help your business to differentiate from the typical Valentine’s Day menu and determine the viability of a specialty item. If an item is particularly successful, it may be worth running again and permanently adding to your menu.

Prix Fixe!

Prix Fixe, meaning fixed price, menus should not be limited to only fine dining restaurants. They are typically comprised of at least three basic courses, which are either pre-selected single items or a pre-selected list of items. Limiting the number of dishes available helps to keep a frantic kitchen under control. All in all, they are a great way to prevent your kitchen from being overwhelmed (which is ideal for special occasions like Valentine’s Day). 

Cater to All Audiences

From families to singles, Valentine’s Day is not just about the couples. For married couples with kids, spread the love and make it a whole family event. Parents can enjoy a romantic meal while kids can be entertained with make your own cards or something of that nature. Additionally, it is important to remember that singles exist too. Consider offering delivery specials for those spending an evening to themselves or even create an event tailored to singles.

Set the Mood

Restaurants are notorious for having dim lighting for the sake of “ambiance.” For Valentine’s Day, setting the mood may take a little more than that though. If possible, bring in live music, as it will create a unique and romantic experience for your diners. Also, giving out freebies, like roses is always a nice touch.All in all, Valentine’s Day is a great diversion from the typical sluggish winter months. Making the most of February 14th, however, boils down to creating a memorable dining experience. If all goes well, you will both make a significant profit and gain new customers. If not, don’t sweat it; St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.