Picture it: staggered military recruitment, banned marriages and engagements, secret nuptial ceremonies, imprisonment, and finally execution, all in the name of love and war. Sounds like components of a fantastic story line for a crowd-drawing cinematic showcase, or a series of events that legends are made of…would you agree?
Well, in regard to this article, the latter is the correct answer, seeing as all of those elements make up the reported story of St. Valentine—a Roman priest who performed secret wedding ceremonies against the decree of Emperor Claudius II, who had banned all marriages and engagements in Rome in his effort to increase the chances of Roman military recruitment and decrease the opportunity for men to marry and stay home with their wives and families.
Because of his defiance, Valentine was arrested, beaten, and executed, per Claudius’s orders, on February 14th around the year 270, though his great service earned him sainthood after his death.
My hypothesis: it’s because of Valentine’s apparent devotion to the concept of love (compounded by the farewell note that he’s assumed to have left to his jailer’s daughter signed, “From Your Valentine”) that the alleged anniversary of his death has become the annual celebration of romantic love.
This is where you come in!
Each year, balloons, flowers, chocolates, candies, jewelry, dinner, and other surprises are given in abundance in the name of love (or like). Americans definitely splurge on the objects of their affection (or themselves and even their colleagues) on Valentine’s Day. As a matter of fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that in 2018 55 % of Americans celebrated the holiday, totaling 19.6 billion dollars in consumer spending (this number doesn’t count Palentine’s/Galentine’s Day, typically celebrated on February 13th, when non-romantic connections, i.e., friends, family, etc. celebrate their warm feelings for one another).
With this being said, make sure you show your customers some love on Pal/Gal/or Valentine’s Day, and they will love you back. And to ensure the most popular of date nights goes well in your establishment, here are five ways you can prepare for a successful every ‘Tine’s Day:
According to Ambius, a company dedicated to designing commercial spaces to create a competitive advantage, studies have shown that stores and businesses decorated for the holiday create a positive feeling in customers, making them feel more at home, and increasing their happiness which is likely to result in purchases. Additionally, holiday decor motivates employees, producing happier feelings in your team, and thereby heightening their customer service to make for a more pleasant experience. They also advise considering a holiday-appropriate playlist for your store. This can help bolster the mood of the day.
Consider what you did last year for the ‘Tine’s. What worked, what didn’t, and what could you do differently this time to increase profits? How effective were your marketing efforts (social campaigns, newsletters, promotions, etc.), and how creative were they? Also, reviewing your financial reports in order to make spending projections and making sure your lines of credit are in place and are sufficient is a bit of advice offered by www.forbes.com for holiday preparation.
Go the extra mile with customer service
Valentine’s Day may be marketed for lovers, but remember your audience-s. As I mentioned before, February 13th is typically the “Valentine’s” for non-romantic love. For this reason, small business financing company, bfs capital, recommends positioning your business to celebrate love in general. For instance, consider those who aren’t currently caught up in the rapture of Cupid’s arrow, and the couples who don’t particularly celebrate the tradition of Valentine’s Day. The company advises that leveraging is a great way to attract all customer types, and I think that’s a smart point. Per usual, be creative with your holiday menu choices, considering all relationship statuses.
Inventory! Inventory! Inventory!
So, in light of the holiday menu choices we just spoke about, be traditional, get creative, or do a mixture of both. But whatever you may want to prepare for your customers on Valentine’s Day, ensure you have a sufficient inventory of necessary ingredients to execute your goals. Be mindful to place your orders and sample requests early. When it comes to perfecting your new recipes and having the tools on hand to create standard ones. in my opinion, it’s better to be prepared early than to be scrambling later.
Same Book, Same Page!
Now that you know how you want to decorate, what marketing initiatives you will need to do for effectiveness, what your menu will be for both customer bases, and your inventory checklist checked, it’s time to get everyone on the same page. Be sure to train your serving staff on each flavor and specialty item for your holiday menu. As you know, paying customers appreciate a knowledgeable staff to help them along their culinary adventure, especially when there’s an abundance of great menu options like the kinds you offer! And employees like to know what they’re talking about! Also, if you are planning to have special holiday hours that clearly differ from your normal schedule, be sure to post them so that customers and staff are well aware.
Now, we’ve talked about what you can do for those celebrating the ‘Tine’s Days, but have you considered the perfect gift for the artisan in your life…or maybe for yourself?
Happy ‘Tine’s Day!