What is in this article?:
- How restaurants can make the most of Valentine's Day
- Offer a limited menu
- Offer choice, flexibility
- Offer a deal they can't refuse
Many restaurants are extending promotions and specials through the weekend to celebrate the holiday.
Offer choice, flexibility
San Francisco-based Lark Creek Restaurant Group aims to stand out from the crowd by not offering fixed-price menus at its restaurants.
Lark Creek operates several romantic venues that see big numbers on Feb. 14, including One Market, Lark Creek Walnut Creek, and Lark Creek Steak, said Quinn McKenna, Lark Creek senior vice president of operations.
On Valentine’s Day, some restaurants may offer a special dish or beverage, but none will feature fixed-price menus. “We don’t want anybody to feel like we’re taking advantage of them,” McKenna said, noting that some customers may view fixed-price menus that way.
Instead, restaurants add extra staff, replace four- and six-top tables with rented two tops to make more room for couples and prepare to do what they do every night extraordinarily well.
“These special event days are so important for the rest of the year because this is a chance for people to try you out,” McKenna said. “We’re looking to make friends for the long term.”
Still, McKenna acknowledged, “The stakes are high, because if you make a mistake, it’s emotionally charged.”
That’s particularly true for new restaurants like Tapenade in Los Angeles, which opened last month and is still working on building brand awareness.
/owner Ressul Rassallat is also skipping the fixed-price menu and will instead offer an a la carte Valentine’s Day menu all weekend. As a special, Tapanade will offer a glass of Perrier- Jouët Champagne for $15.
“I don’t want to force people to spend $100 or $80. I want to give them the flexibility to spend $40 if they want to,” Rassallat said. “This is a neighborhood restaurant and I want people to feel like they can come three or four times a week.”