Cue the candles, soft music and luscious floral arrangements: Valentine's Day is on its way. Many couples view this romantic day as incomplete without a special meal. And goodness knows it's good for business, as consumer spending approaches $20 billion ($3.7 billion of which is spent on an evening out). On this high-traffic holiday, put your best culinary foot forward to capture your slice of the market.
To prix fixe or not to prix fixe?
Creating a prix fixe menu for the evening is a popular tactic for fine dining establishments. This has its advantages: you can more accurately predict revenue per head and simplify a hectic night for your kitchen staff, while your guests feel like they're being treated to a special culinary experience.
However, there are some cons as well, as noted by prominent chefs. Some guests will want to savor an old favorite and might be disappointed that it's unavailable. Or maybe a prix fixe menu doesn't show off your restaurant's strengths and personality. You also run the risk of alienating singles, families and budget-conscious diners.
Your best option might be somewhere in the middle. You could offer the prix fixe dinner in addition to your regular menu, or provide different price points for 2-, 3- and 4-course options. Try giving 3-4 items to choose from per course to accommodate each diner's tastes.