Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Get your features and menu together now and start marketing it daily.

Let people know that you are taking reservations (if you are). Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing and to maximize profits during this high traffic day in your restaurant.

Appeal to Families

Offer children’s activities and in-restaurant child care. Young families have a lot to do, not much time and, in most cases, not much money to get it all done.Offer a special kids’ area in the restaurant where you have qualified child care workers who can watch your patrons’ children free of charge while the parents enjoy a quiet romantic dinner together. “Kids eat free” might be a great one-two punch to offer with the child care service.

Aphrodisiac Dishes

On the day that is designed to celebrate lovers, offer dishes that might help get your patrons in the mood. Some proven aphrodisiac ingredients are: oysters, chili peppers, chocolate, avocado, pine nuts, arugula, strawberry, asparagus, prosciutto, pomegranate, shrimp, lobster whipped cream and chai tea.

Make it Simple

Pair the libations and food for them. If you don’t already do this, work with your wine, liquor and food vendors to identify great wine, cocktail and non-alcoholic beverage pairings that go with your menu features. Take the guesswork out of your guests’ hands by helping them have the best, most relaxing experience possible.

Table for Two?

Shareable dishes are a must. Think about the demographic that you are trying to target with your features for Valentine’s Day. Are you looking to attract groups of couples to come dine, or would you prefer to see your restaurant loaded with two-top tables all evening? Nothing is wrong with either or both, as long as they are in helping you drive your revenue. Consider splitting your lover’s day menu between tapas-style small-plate appetizers and desserts while offering sharable entrées. Appetizers might include canapés, crostini, shrimp scampi, grilled oysters, etc. Entrées may include roasted filet of beef for two, double bone stuffed pork chop for two, whole roasted chicken for two or prime rib roast for two. Dessert selections might include petits fours, chocolate dipped strawberries and/or orange segments, prosciutto-wrapped melon spears, or anything else that gets them sitting close, smiling and puts love in the air.

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