To create a romantic and memorable evening for guests, light your restaurant with candles, play love songs and decorate tables with red roses. Don't forget to allow more time in between reservations because customers may want to have a more leisurely paced meal.

Devise a prix-fixe dinner for two with an appetizer, soup or salad, entre and dessert, along with a selection of fine wines and champagne. You could also expand your package to include an overnight stay at a local hotel.

To jazz up your menu and restaurant for that special night, select a specific country or region for inspiration. For example, if you choose France, offer round French bread broule, bottles of red wine and a French newspaper rolled around a red rose to set the mood. Conjure up instant atmosphere by decorating with travel posters or prints of famous French paintings. For the menu, offer a sampling of various French dishes from appetizers to desserts.

Valentine's Day is also a popular evening for marriage proposals. Offer behind-the-scenes assistance with the ring placement and the timing of the "big question" and have champagne ready for the couple to celebrate their engagement.

For your single diners, play matchmaker by offering group tables. Take advantage of reservations to keep an equal male-to-female ratio. Offer a prix-fixe meal or family-style dishes designed for sharing.

Also, consider offering a special takeout Valentine's Day meal for those who might prefer to spend a romantic evening at home. The three- or four-course meal should consist of dishes that can be easily transported and reheated. Provide bottles of sparkling cider to accompany the food. Wrap the meal in packaging decorated with red hearts and include high-quality disposable plates, napkins, utensils and glasses to ease preparation and cleanup. Tuck in cards with romantic verses, and don't forget to include instructions for safe reheating and serving.

Source: National Restaurant Association