Valentine’s Day is known for staples such as chocolate, love letters, flowers, teddy bears and romantic dates.
Many East Lansing businesses thrive around Feb. 14. This certainly includes restaurants that go a step further to promote holiday specials.
“Having a special increases business by a lot, because people look for deals and want the special rolls and drinks for the special occasion,” said Savannah Keasler, a supervisor and server at Maru in East Lansing. “They want to go all out and feel special and just do special things.”
Maru promotes different wines, a special chocolate crème brûlée dessert and a new Valentine’s roll called “Burnin’ Love.” This roll is part of the special available for $14 from Feb. 10-16.
“We take an extra step to promote our specials on Facebook and Instagram,” said Keasler. “I believe it is a successful promotion because we are slammed on Valentine’s Day. We even had over an hour to wait last year for takeout orders, along with a ton of reservations.”
Another restaurant that reaps the benefits of increased holiday business is the State Room restaurant at the Kellogg Center. The State Room offers a prix fixe menu for $49 per person and an optional wine pairing for $16 per person.
“The prix fixe menu gives people an incentive to come out and enjoy the four-course, high-quality meal and wine pairing on this special day,” said Benji Udstuen, a student supervisor at the State Room.
This special brings in more than double the usual number of customers.
“It is absolutely packed on Valentine’s Day. Usually a busy night for us is about 100 people, but on Valentine’s Day we usually get about 220 people,” said Udstuen. “Having the special is definitely a big part of that and it’s a really busy night for us.”
The State Room also decorates and has theme colors.
“We do special table settings, keep the lights a little lower and have candles on the table to make it more special,” said Udstuen. “We go all out for it.”
Al Fusion, offers customers who spend $40 or more a free dessert.
“The special we had last year was a little different because customers had to spend less money to get the free dessert,” said Bella Scott, hostess and supervising manager at Al Fusion. “The special itself usually influences people to get appetizers or drinks as well, which they may have been unsure about getting before.”
At Al Fusion, reservations for two skyrocket and the restaurant is typically packed, according to Scott.