PORTLAND, Ore. – Managers at Imperial in Downtown Portland said they looked for ways to make the new restaurant stand out from its more established neighbors this Valentine’s Day.
“How are we going to do this? How are we going to put people in our seats?” said Imperial General Manager Garrett Peck.
Most restaurants focus on a special Valentine’s Day menu for two, and separate tables for individual couples.
Peck and his staff decided they would keep the tables where they are.
“Let’s do a double date. People, bring in your friends. Make it for four,” he said.
A double date on Valentine’s Day?
“Well you know, if you’re on your first date [and] it’s Valentine’s, it might be a great little ice breaker,” said Peck. “It’s definitely a risk, but there’s always an inherent risk with whatever you do, so if we have two [people] that’s OK, but if people want to make it four that’s much better for us.”
So far, people are into it.
Peck said employees called couples who made reservations back, asking if they wanted to add two more. “We actually got six calls back. So we increased by 12,” he said.
Valentine’s Day is the second most popular occasion to dine out. Mother’s Day is first.
The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association projects 25 percent of adults in Oregon will dine out on Valentine’s Day.
Peck said he thinks more couples prefer the company.
“Sometimes there’s a level of uncomfortability in a party of two as opposed to a party of four.”