MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The most romantic day of the year is almost upon us and restaurants seem to be feeling the love. A new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows Americans plan to spend more than a billion dollars on an evening out for the Valentine's Holiday.
Many restaurants in the Grand Strand are already gearing up for what industry experts predict will be one of the busiest days and possibly weekends of the year. Croissants Chef, Bradley Daniels, says they expect a busy turn out throughout the weekend, since Valentine's lands on a Thursday this year. The night offers a boost on the off-season to many area eateries.
Daniels points out the night is filled with unique factors. Diners are mostly couples, typically with higher expectations, and are willing to spend a little more than usual. This turns up the pressure to impress diners. Daniels says the hope is Valentine's dinner guests will turn into repeat customers if they aren't already.
For some restaurants, it means planning for weeks to deliver on a special valentine's night menu.
"A lot of time, the menu itself actually took a lot of time. I actually had to sit down and write it and had to do a little bit of research," said Daniels. Croissants will offer a limited menu on the 14th, and offer a combination of their regular menu and prefix menu on the 15th and 16th.
For other restaurants, like Gordon Biersch in Market Common, it means the entire staff will be on the schedule through the weekend.
"We stacked up big. We're full staff the whole weekend long, ready for anything," said Gordon Biersch manager Phil Galloway.
Managers recommend making a reservation for Thursday night. Daniels and Galloway point out diners should try to be flexible. Many of the more popular restaurants will have the prime slots already reserved which are usually between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m..