The difference between a family and a romantic restaurant comes down to the aesthetics and the ambiance it provides. When a customer walks into a family restaurant, the ubiquitous wall decor may be fun for the kids, but it can feel a bit “cheesy” if on a date. Family restaurants are great, but they’re abundant and so is their competition. If you’re a family-owned establishment, consider trying to attract a younger crowd with your décor; families will still come, but your moneymakers will be on the two-top tables. Many restaurateurs try to attract families, aiming for the bigger bills. On an astronomically perfect day, yes, families would make more money, but factor in how long they stay, and the service demand involved and you’ll realize couples may be the better way to go.
Why focus on a younger, more romantic atmosphere?
Couples on romantic dates usually have an evening planned, so they want to eat quickly- boosting a “turn and burn” rate. On top of that, consider people dating too. When one party wants to impress the other, they’re likely to choose what they want to eat, and not what is “cheapest”. In fact, most women view an anniversary date just as important as a first or second date, so you’re not just looking at the single demographic; you also attract the engaged and married couples.
If you’re going for a romantic setting in your restaurant, forgo the clutter on the wall; relinquish the cheesy tangibles and decor that fits the family restaurant mold, and go for a more romantic, subtle look.
Romantic eateries have several important components:
- Large, dark shutters on windows that hide the unattractive “behind-the-scenes” areas
- Fancy Curtains
- Luxurious Restrooms
- Romantic booths for sitting close
- Mood Lighting (colored bulbs or dim lighting with candles)
- Quiet, Romantic Music
- Unobtrusive Wait Staff (couples don’t want to spend their evening with a salesperson)
- Shareable Desserts (perfect for proposals)