Valentine’s Day is one of the restaurant industry’s biggest nights, second only to Mother’s Day. In an otherwise quiet and dreary month (for much of the country), you need to take advantage of the hearts in everyone’s eyes and get as much out of this holiday as you can.
Need a shot of inspiration? Here are some fun menu ideas, straight from cupid’s arrow.
Corny? Possibly….but isn’t Valentine’s Day a little corny? Couples who are into this holiday are into the corniness of it too, so give them some of the silliness they’re looking for. What kind of dishes can you add to the menu that are perfectly designed to be served in one vessel for sharing? Paella, maybe? If none of your menu items would work well, think about a special cocktail that can be served with two straws.
To heighten the romance quotient, develop some specials featuring well-known aphrodisiacs. Maybe even feature at least one in each course. Think about some classics such as raw oysters, caviar, figs and chili peppers. For the dessert course, think chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and pomegranate.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday for a prix-fixe experience. With no kids, parents, or others vying for their attention, couples out for an evening want to prolong the night. Give them three courses so they can focus on each other and take their time over a leisurely meal. Added bonus: prix-fixe menus help with ordering and planning before the weekend.
When many people think of the words “romantic dinner,” images come to mind that we’ve all been fed from Hollywood. Lovers in a restaurant with drippy candles and an accordion player. Couples gazing into each others’ eyes over champagne, under the watchful eye of a French waiter. That may explain why the most sought-after restaurants for Valentine’s Day are Italian and French. If you’re not a French or Italian restaurant, think about coming up with a special menu inspired by one of these romantic countries.
Show the Love
Depending on your brand, have a little fun with the silly side of Valentine’s Day. Maybe you don’t need to go full-on with a heart shaped pizza (or maybe you do!) but little touches, such as a heart-shaped butter patty, can put your guests in the mood and have them feeling the love.
Remember, whatever is on the menu, have fun with the holiday and use it as an excuse to bring some love and smiles to the faces of your favorite diners, and hopefully some new ones who you’ll be seeing again.