The origins of Valentine’s Day have always been shrouded in romantic mystery. Whether St. Valentine himself had any romance in his life or not, at the end of the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as Saint Valentine’s Day, and a melding of Christian idealized love with pagan traditions and fertility rites led to some of the Valentine’s Day rituals we observe today. Two Valentine’s Day rituals that have remained constant since the Middle Ages are sending notes, and spending the day on romance.
While the greeting card industry gets a boon from the passing of notes, the restaurant industry is the recipient of much of the holiday’s action. Restaurateurs often experience a huge increase in traffic on that night, but making your restaurant stand out from among the many choices is still important. Making such a holiday a memorable success could mean not only big income for the night, but also many happy return customers. And this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday—all the more reason to step up your game, and decorate for romance!
LED lights are a fun and unique way to decorate your restaurant for Valentine’s Day. Using a tasteful dose of red and white lights on the exterior and interior of your business will create an ambience your guests are sure to remember. White lights are a perennial classy look, and the reds create a soft glow that will transform your space.
Exterior Lighting: Draw Patrons In
Outside your business, red or white lights can create a striking curb appeal and draw in guests. The classic Christmas moves of decorating the landscaping, wrapping columns in spirals, and framing the doorway are still on the table for design ideas. But it may be a good idea to use red or white only to avoid a Christmas look. Make sure to step back from the façade and view your work from the street! Does it make you want to walk right in?
If you choose to use lights to make heart shapes in windows or on doors, make sure to do it just right. Plain lights may look better than a lopsided heart. You can also cut out a perfect cardboard heart and attach the lights to the edges, using the cardboard to give your heart shapes better form.
Interior Lighting: Keep the Magic Going!
Inside the restaurant, you want to deliver the magic that the outside invitation promised. Beyond the typical LED light applications such as framing the windows and doorframes, how about putting lights… in your lights? If you have chandeliers or pendant lights, stringing them up with red LED lights will change the hue of the light coming from the fixture, and also dramatically change the look for those who’ve dined with you previously.
Dangling icicle lights could create a beautiful backdrop behind booth seats that are situated against the wall. This also creates an attractive background for the couple’s Valentine’s Day photos. Another option at tables and booths is hanging light spheres as extra pendant lights, or in lieu of pendant lights, to create just the right lighting for the night.
You can even put lights right on the table! Use battery powered LED lights to create small centerpieces. They easily wrap around a candle or vase, or you can even create a “bouquet” of lights to display in a bowl or vase.
Finally, don’t forget any unique surfaces or backdrops that your particular establishment should highlight with LED lights. Got a grand piano? Light it up! A nice bar? Light that up too. Whatever pieces you think of as really giving your restaurant its “look” should be highlighted, to help your guests remember you.
While Valentine’s Day has come a long way since the 5th century, it is still a day of romance and ritual. Don’t hesitate to join in by decorating with LED lights for the perfect ambience, and give your guests a memorable experience.