Happy Valentine’s Day for florists, restaurants
Florists and restaurateurs were in high spirits winding down to Valentine’s Day, happy with where they are in business, considering the tough years they have seen.
But they are still open to those with last minute plans. And some do come at the last moment with floral orders and restaurant reservations.
Carmen Phillips, the owner of Demco Florists, said there has been the usual massive pick up in business at this time of year. There were many who left it to the day before.
And on Valentine’s Day alone, she will have 400 bouquets out for delivery.
“We try not to do more than that,” she said. “We are in the middle of the Atlantic, so we have to be careful what we have shipped in. When we take an order for people, our obligation is to ensure we can fill that order.“
Her shipments from around the world, this year included more than 5,000 roses, but she offers orchids, tropical arrangements and other flowers.
“Bermuda men typically order a dozen roses, but there are some three or six-rose orders. And there are also some double-dozen orders.
“We had an uptick in premium bouquet orders. We sell chocolates, candles, bath products and specialty gift baskets. We have seen an increased interest in these this year.
“But Valentines Day is about flowers and there has been a lot of focus on that this year.”
Phil Barnett, president of the Island Restaurant Group, noted that a midweek observance means some couples have their special dinner on the weekend before, or after the big day.
For Tuesday night itself, there remained some opportunity for seating at Barracuda Grill and Bolero.
He said: “For this time of the year, business has actually been steady. People have been slowly, but surely coming back out to dine.
“We are just winding down restaurant weeks and that has been good. It has definitely taken the ‘low’ out of ‘low season’.”
He said the two big issues for restaurants at present include staffing and costs in a business where margins are razor thin.
“Getting people into our industry is tough, even though a good bartender in their early twenties can take home upwards from $60,000. And of course, we would also like to see more mixologists. They are in high demand.”
But the other thing has been costs.
He said: “We’ve faced massive inflationary pressures over the last couple of years.
“We are always trying very hard to keep the cost of dining from becoming too expensive.
“You have to be so careful that after you pay the bills that your costs have not crept up on you.
“Have to be so careful, because you still have to put money back into the business and have capital to ride out the unprofitable times, which here, is generally the winter.”
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