4 Ways Service Workers Act Appropriately on Valentine’s Day
- Valentine’s Day is a busy day for business owners, restaurants and service workers.
- Insider spoke with five industry pros to hear their tips for a smooth, romantic vacation.
- Make reservations, be realistic with requests, and don’t ask to hide a ring in your partner’s food.
Valentine’s Day is a romantic day of celebration for many couples, but it’s often a hectic time for restaurateurs, jewelers, florists and specialty store workers.
Lying about a dinner reservation, insisting that the chef hide an engagement ring in your partner’s meal, or ordering flowers at the last minute can turn the season of love into a nightmare for those working during vacations.
Industry pros have shared four tips on how customers can help spread the love by making their job easier during one of the busiest days of the year.
1. Make a restaurant reservation in advance
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, so booking in advance is a must.
Restaurants often start taking reservations weeks, sometimes months, in advance and book up quickly. Now throw a pandemic into the mix, and restaurants may also be subject to limited capacity and operating with fewer staff.
But according to Hamptons hotspot owner Zach Erdem, who runs 75 Main and Blu Mar, not everyone thinks they need a reservation for fine dining.
“A lot of people show up at the restaurant fully dressed and expect to be seated without a reservation,” Erdem told Insider. Although he said he did his best to seat them, it’s not a good idea to do so during the holidays and it’s not an ideal situation for the restaurant staff, who already have a lot to do .
“Some will even lie, saying they called weeks ago and made a reservation and blamed our staff for the confusion,” Erdem said.
2. Don’t ask the chef to hide an engagement ring in your unsuspecting partner’s meal
If you’re considering proposing at a restaurant, think twice about involving the staff in your plans.
“We don’t want the kind of liability that comes with hiding your engagement ring in food or drink. It could get lost, and we certainly don’t want to be sued if your future fiancé breaks a tooth,” Ashley Schuering, a former service worker turned food blogger who worked at restaurants in Nashville and Philadelphia, told Insider.
One customer, Schuering said, even asked to cook a ring in an omelet, which she said she politely declined.
If you’re going to propose at a restaurant, she suggested placing the ring next to the dessert or inside a champagne glass where it’s more obvious and less likely to be misplaced (or eaten).
3. Don’t wait until the last minute to order flowers or bombard your florist with unrealistic requests
Unlike some holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day falls on the same date every year, so it’s more than frustrating when a customer asks for same-day flowers, Leneille Moon, a floral designer based in Paris, told Insider. Atlanta and owner of Special Event Factory.
Florists have to order flowers in advance, so “if we have to pay a premium for last-minute flowers, be prepared to pay the last-minute price,” Moon said.
Late orders aren’t the only problem when it comes to ordering flowers.
Ivette Harrouche, co-founder and COO of Pomp Flowers, told Insider that some requests seem simple to customers, but in reality can be difficult or impossible to solve on a large scale.
Requests such as “Can I please have this order delivered at exactly 10:30 am?” or, “I would like a different vase with this order. Here is a link to it via Amazon. Can I please have this vase shipped with my flowers instead?” cannot be logistically supported due to all the moving parts involved in deliveries, Harrouche said.
As Pomp prepares to deliver around 10,000 orders nationwide this Valentine’s Day, she added that even changes to one order, such as “I ordered 50 roses but only want 35 because it’s our 35th Valentine’s Day together,” can add a lot more work to a business than customers realize.
4. Know your partner’s preferences before buying a sex toy
Carol Queen is the sex therapist at San Francisco-based sex toy store Good Vibrations. Queen told Insider that it’s one thing to ask a staff member at a specialty store to help her pick out a piece of jewelry, a flower arrangement or a chocolate treat. However, asking for a recommendation for a sex toy can put store staff in a difficult position, as they don’t know your partner’s desires or comfort level.
“It would be great if you gave intimacy a head start so you know if your loved one will enjoy the toy you choose and buy. There’s no turning back here! If you really don’t know , get a gift card, and go shopping together on the weekend after Valentine’s Day and start the conversation — and the party — together,” Queen said.