The Feast of St Valentine is upon us and, as we all know, 14 February is one of the busiest dates in the winter calendar for many UK operators.
Statistics estimate bookings for this day can be around 40% higher than any other typical February night, so restaurants and bars should do all they can to ensure the night is profitable. Here are our five top tips for operators looking to getting their service offering right this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day should allow guests quality time to spend together so instead of asking customers to wait in a long queue on the evening, create an invisible one! Diners want to be waiting at the bar or in a nearby pub, especially during a romantic date.Using customer paging solutions gives diners the freedom to wait where they wish while reducing congestion across your front-of-house.
With the busiest dates for restaurants often leaving operators short staffed, there may not always be someone available front-of-house to seat customers as they arrive. Placing call buttons at the entrance will ensure a team member is alerted as soon as there are guests to be seated – reducing wait times, queues, and increasing customer satisfaction.
While couples make the most of the opportunity to dine out together and catch up away from every-day life, tables may be occupied for longer than normal. Reservation app Resy reports some of its most organised users book as much as 23 days in advance to secure a desirable table for Valentine’s Day. Of course, there will always be last-minute walk-ins, and this is where smart table management technology comes into play, assisting venues in turning tables faster and serving more customers. Carried by front-of-house teams, the handheld devices update table management systems with current seating availability or alert another member of the team should a table need to be cleared – helping to ensure customers are seated swiftly.
Simple but effective, two-way radios can help to prevent customers gathering in more queues as they wait for a table. Giving teams a reliable radio system immediately connects them across front and back-of-house, ensuring the slickest of services. Instant communication between the whole team also means table turns are more efficient and incidents are dealt with immediately – all helping to enhance the customer experience.
Make the most of the couple theme on Valentine’s Day. Sharing platters and bundled offers can increase the bottom line whilst alleviating pressure on the kitchen. Great food images never cease to attract attention on social media and what better time to flaunt your assets than in the run-up to Valentine’s Day?!