Win Over Your Guests: 8 Valentine’s Day Restaurant Marketing Tips
Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. On average, the romantically inclined spend around $20 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day. The average cost of eating out for Valentine’s Day can vary widely per couple – a wide range, but one that leans toward higher-end meals. Having some Valentine’s Day restaurant marketing tips is a great way to improve your bottom line in during what is otherwise one of the slowest months for restaurants.
Valentine’s Day promotions are important for restaurants, especially if you’re looking to boost sales after the holidays. We’ve put together a list of our top promotional & marketing tips to help make Valentine’s Day a success.
Add Valentine’s Day-Inspired Dishes to Menu
Whether its heart-shaped desserts or Valentine’s Day inspired cocktails, incorporate the holiday into your menu. Limited-time offers increase your revenue by tapping into scarcity marketing. Speciality menu items, especially if they recur annually, have the potential to build an audience and increase your revenue. Your guests will appreciate it, and it makes your menu more festive and fun. The extra creative effort also helps your restaurant stand out from competitors.
Offer a Proposal Package
Valentine’s Day and the days around it are among the most popular days for wedding proposals. Since someone is bound to pop the question at your restaurant on Valentine’s Day, why not make their experience a little more special?
Help create the perfect environment for a proposal with a Valentine’s Day engagement package. You can include flowers, champagne, photography, a limo ride after dinner, etc. If you have a more intimate space available in your restaurant, you could offer it in the proposal package. Consider partnering with local jewelers to get the word out about your proposal package. Make sure that you work with interested parties to maintain privacy for the proposee, which can include a discrete line item or reservation title to increase the potential for surprise.
Valentine’s Day Packages
Offer a non-proposal Valentine’s Day package to those that want to make their sweetheart’s day more special. If there’s space for it, offer a semi-private dining area to create an intimate experience for couples. You can also include live music or entertainment. Music can help create a unique and romantic experience. Base your music selection on your restaurant concept, but keep it appropriate and unobtrusive to your guest experience.
If you have a more upscale restaurant, jazz or a piano player could be a good option. If you own a casual restaurant, a guitarist or DJ might be a good fit. Offering a prix fixe menu makes the experience feel more upscale and helps couples spend less time deciding on an entrée and more time together.
Don’t forget about the singles this Valentine’s Day! Offer a happy hour a few nights before Valentine’s Day to celebrate those still looking for their special someone. Offer a signature drink and play upbeat music to liven up the mood. If space allows, think about rearranging your tables in a way that makes conversation from table-to-table more comfortable. You could even incorporate a few games to help your guests get acquainted with one another.
Discount for First 10 Couples to Make Valentine’s Day Reservation
Reward the early birds who choose your restaurant as their Valentine’s Day destination by offering a discount to the first ten people to make a reservation. This discount could be a percentage off or a coupon for a free menu item. Guest management software is an easy way to manage these reservations and provide accurate wait times to those that don’t make an early reservation.
Promote All Specials and Packages on Social Media and Website
Customers will be using social media to search for the best Valentine’s Day restaurant promotions. Valentine’s Day is an excellent time to update your website and social media accounts with new photos and ensure all information (address, phone number, hours of operations, etc.) is up-to-date. Running boosted ads on Facebook can help get the word out about your Valentine’s Day promotions and specials. There are ads in all price ranges, and you will have the opportunity to get information about your specials in front of a targeted audience.
Allow Enough Time to Plan
Have your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy in place and ready to execute by early-to-mid January. You will want to give yourself enough time to make sure you can execute on your plan. Potential customers probably won’t be thinking about their Valentine’s Day plans until early February, so plan on starting your Valentine’s Day restaurant promotion plan then.
Get More Tips
Marketing yourself is imperative for restaurant operators — whether for Valentine’s Day or in general. There are many Valentine’s day restaurant marketing tips that can benefit management. There are a lot of ways to promote for your holiday specials, and from behavioral to cause marketing, we’ve got you covered.
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About the Author
Emily Elder was a Content & Social Media Specialist at QSR Automations. Emily was born and raised in Louisville, but considers herself a die-hard University of Kentucky fan. For college, Emily attended Indiana University Southeast and obtained a degree in Communications with a track in Advertising. In her free time, Emily enjoys just about every water related activity, but she is partial to kayaking and whitewater rafting.