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    Ways to Ensure You’re Fully Booked on Valentine’s Day

    February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is fast approaching and soon amorous couples will be looking for somewhere to have a special romantic meal to celebrate their relationship.

    1 in 3 UK adults are planning to celebrate the day this year and in 2015, two-thirds of people said they would be going for a meal for Valentine’s Day.

    In total, £557 million will be spent going out on dinners, the largest spend compared to £461 million on gifts, £211 million on flowers, £173 million on drinks, £115 million on chocolates and £57 million on cards.

    With stats like these you’d be a fool not to make a conscious effort in your restaurant to entice Valentine’s Day diners into your eatery. Here are some excellent ways to make sure you get a fully booked restaurant on the most romantic day of the year.

    Create a Valentine’s Day menu

    This could be alongside your normal menu, in place of or an extra Valentine’s dish option.

    Speak with your head chef and brainstorm some ideas for the menu. Some obvious ideas such as truffles for dessert, champagne or prosecco to drink and other decadently romantic offerings hit the right note.

    Offer a deal

    Everyone takes notice of a deal and Valentine’s Day is a great way to target two diners. Offer a complimentary glass of Prosecco for each order of your Valentine’s Day menu option. You may already have some special deals available, you could simply revise and rename your offer with a Valentine’s theme or add a new temporary menu option for the period leading up to 14th February.

    Spread the Valentine’s Day feeling

    February 14th falls on a Tuesday this year. Not a popular day for dining out, so to capitalise on the event try and start your Valentine’s offers on Friday 10th of February and run them until Sunday 19th. This gives diners the option of booking on less busy days whilst still taking advantage of the offer. Weekends either side of Valentine’s Day are a good second choice for many people unable to do midweek eating out.

    Offer a special breakfast and lunch option

    Some people are unable to dine out in the evenings. Possibly due to work or the cost of dinners, so to target these people, create a Valentine’s Day breakfast and lunch menu.

    You don’t need to go overboard. It could be a simple thing like heart-shaped fried or poached eggs or a mimosa with the meal.

    Set the mood

    Being blatant about marketing Valentine’s Day is nothing to shy away from and it doesn’t have to be cut out cupids on the wall and sickly saccharine sweets. Depending on the image and ethos of your establishment you can give your space a stylish finish. Some crisp white table linens, candlelight, perhaps a handful of rose petals scattered on table tops. These little touches go a long way and are noticed by customers. A single rose in a tall, thin vase on each table always goes down well.

    Promote your Valentine’s Day offer

    A month or so before February 14th start to share your restaurant’s plans on all social media until the day has arrived. Make sure you interact, engage and respond to your followers.

    Feature posters of your Valentine’s menu in your restaurant, email subscribers with a dedicated email and put a mention on your website to maximise exposure.

    Don’t forget the singletons

    Not everyone is married or in a couple and it’s worth remembering the singles over this period. Along with the Valentine’s Day promotions you can target the anti-Valentine’s set.

    Design a special offer for single diners and instead of having them sit alone at a table, create a unique counter dining space for solo customers. It lets the customer not feel so alienated and encourages customer and bar staff interaction.

    Just good friends

    Promote a friends’ dinner and drinks menu. For group diners, you can make a fun experience of good food and drinks. Perhaps allocating a large table for just platonic diners who want to shun the romance and just have a great time.

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