Valentine’s day is around the corner, but you still have almost a month to prepare and to ensure that you make the most out it. Because Valentine’s Day can be a very important (and sometimes stressful!) occasion for your customers, here are some tips for making their visit not just special, but also easy to book.
No, you don’t need Yelp or OpenTable to offer your guests reservations on your website. Hostme will help you have a reservations system up and running on your website in no time, and at a fraction of those other vendors’ costs. Go to the Hostme website and we will guide you through the process of adding the option to make a reservation from your Facebook page or Yelp page. Plus, by managing your reservations with our app, you mitigate the risk for lost reservations, confusion and no-shows. Your guests will love it in this win-win situation that allows them to book on the channel that’s best for them, and to manage their reservation with a handy app!
Getting your reservations booked early will help you plan your operations that day. Offer something simple and easy to execute - such as a rose or special dessert - to the first 20 reservations. This will help you to rapidly fill up your restaurant tables and not have to worry about other, more expensive marketing campaigns to get reservations.
Everyone’s goals on that night are exactly the same: to wow a special someone in their life. While going to a restaurant is expected and, honestly, not very original, think about something unique and extra you could offer your guests to make that night memorable. It could be live classical music players, romantic dish names and items, fresh flowers on each table, or complementary chocolates at the end of dinners. Think outside the box, but make sure you can execute the plan flawlessly. And, most importantly, promote these special extras to encourage guests to make reservations.
Take the time to identify your VIP customers who are coming on Valentine’s Day and personalize their experience with their name on the table they reserved. Make sure that if you know their table preferences, and that you place them at their preferred table even if they did not give any specifications. This is the night to make them feel special and pampered.
As we get closer to the date, #valentinesday will surely become a trending topic just before February 14. But there’s nothing stopping you from starting early and telling your crowd all about the specials you have in store for them at your restaurant. Encourage them to share photos of their special evening with you afterwards on your social media accounts - perhaps even for a chance at a free dessert at their next visit!
Talk to your crew to get unique ideas and evaluate their feasibility. Then decide what you are going to do and start planning how you will execute it. Customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t come from the efforts of just one person. Get everyone involved, and make sure they understand that this is a team effort. But don’t forget to appropriately reward your team.
While these tips are geared toward Valentine’s Day, most can also be applied to other holidays, such as Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, etc.
Thank you for reading. Contact me if you have questions or want to start a conversation!
by Marylise Fabro
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