Weathering Valentine's Day

Weathering Valentine's Day

Weather has impact on one of top-grossing days of the year.

Each year lovers of all ages across the nation celebrate Valentine's Day. Flowers, candy, cards and other gifts are handed over candle-lit dinner tables.

However, businesses in the area suffered this year from a winter ice storm that enveloped the region.

Blooms in Reston made preparations to soften the impact of the bad weather. An employee at Blooms, Charlie Hall, said flowers sold well despite the ice storm. "Business was good for us. [The storm] gave an opportunity for people to order early delivery, so the Wednesday rush was actually a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday effort for us," said Hall.

WHILE VALENTINE'S DAY is the top-grossing holiday for florists, other businesses also count on large sales that day. Uno Chicago Bar and Grill at Reston Town Center suffered from the bad weather and icy conditions last week on Wednesday. Business was down 43 percent from last year's Valentine's Day sales.

"Everybody had a really tough day with the weather," said manager Jean Stuekerjuergen. Because of the bad weather, the restaurant operated with only four of its eight scheduled servers. The other four could not make it to work. Stuekerjuergen said last year's Valentine's Day, which fell on a Tuesday, brought $6,300 in sales. Normally Tuesdays bring about $4,000 in sales at the restaurant. This year's Valentine's Day, Wednesday, the restaurant had $4,600 of sales. A regular Wednesday averages about $5,500 for the restaurant. She added that the restaurant's location at Reston Town Center was crucial to the restaurant's ability to make any sales at the beginning of last week.

"Because of people who live around here, weather permitting, it's not that bad," said Stuekerjuergen.

OTHER RESTAURANTS in the area, however, were not affected to the same extent. Paul Haeringer, manager at L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, said the restaurant was only slightly affected. "People came out that night and we had just a few cancellations for our later seating, but our earlier seating was completely full," he said. Haeringer said the restaurant contracted a crew to clean the parking lots, so there were no parking woes for customers. "We had a few deliveries that didn't come until the next day, but it wasn't a problem for us," he said.

Another Great Falls establishment, Mediterranee Restaurant, also saw limited impact on business from the winter storm. "The only thing that happened was that the people who were supposed to come late changed their times to earlier times," said Jacques Imperato, the restaurant's owner. "We had three parties that canceled because they couldn't get out of their driveways, but we were fortunate because we had 75 people, which is a good number for us."

Even the restaurants that suffered early in the week because of the bad weather rebounded later last week. Uno at Reston Town Center rebounded by Thursday afternoon. Stuekerjuergen said the biggest reason behind the rebound was school closings. Parents took the opportunity to have a rare weekday lunch or dinner with their children.