3 Ideas to Maximize Profits on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a special time for romantics, as well as restaurateurs. In fact, according to two decades of research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Valentine’s Day is the second most popular holiday for dining out surpassed only by Mother’s Day.

These high-traffic dining days present restaurant owners with unique opportunities to seize new business, strengthen brand loyalty and get their share of the $13 billion Americans spend on Valentine’s Day each year.

With competition for the consumers’ attention only intensifying, it’s important that restaurants offer unique Valentine’s Day specials in order to draw customers to their location and, ultimately, maximize profits.


Here are 3 great Valentine’s Day ideas to help your restaurant maximize profits, while creating a memorable dining experience your customers won’t soon forget.


1. Roll Out A Special Menu

People want to do something special on Valentine’s Day and restaurateurs have to be ready to deliver. So, more and more restaurants today are developing a custom prix fixe menu to accommodate the growing demand for an “unforgettable” dining experience.

For restaurant operators, a prix fixe menu (or fixed list) is great a way to guarantee each cover will be profitable. Unlike the traditional à la carte menu where customers may order any of the separately priced menu items available, a prix fixe menu usually includes three to five courses with several dishes to pick from a fixed list.

A 3-course prix fixe menu generally includes:

  • Appetizer
  • Main course
  • Dessert

A 5-course prix fixe menu generally includes:

  • Amuse Bouche (not counted as a course)
  • Soup
  • Entrée
  • Salad
  • Main course
  • Cheese or Dessert

A set price menu not only enables restaurant operators to gain a clear forecast of the price per head, but to also extract a specific amount of revenue from the tables they’re turning.


2. Offer Wine Pairings

Pairing the right wine with a meal creates a combination that enhances the experience of both food and wine, helping to create the memorable dining experience sought after on Valentine’s Day.

Just as a recipe doesn’t need to be complex to be mouth-wateringly good, your customers don’t need to be wine connoisseurs to enjoy the benefits of the right food and wine pairings. Consider offering a wine pairing with your prix fixe menu for an additional fee to boost profits.

A recent study by Cornell University revealed that wine pairings generated a 44.5% increase in sales of the target wines, as well as a 21% increase in total restaurant sales.

To maximize profits, restaurateurs should be sure to use high-margin wines and promote wines that are mid-priced and above.


3. Promote, Promote, Promote!

Offering unique Valentine’s Day specials won’t do your restaurant any good if diners don’t know about them. So be sure to promote your offerings well in advance. More importantly, make sure your regulars know about your special holiday plans.

According to the NRA, nearly one-quarter of American adults flooded restaurants last Valentine’s Day, with 42 percent of diners picking a “favorite” spot! If you have a customer email list, mid-late January is a great time to reach out with an email promotion or invitation to your special Valentine’s Day event.

At McDonald Wholesale, we’re all about helping our customers across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California maximize profits. Whether you’re considering creating a Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu or need help promoting your restaurant, contact us. Our trained, dedicated staff will work closely with you to develop flexible solutions tailored to meet your individual restaurant needs.

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