Win Over Your Guests: 8 Valentine’s Day Restaurant Marketing Tips
Valentine’s Day is ranked the second busiest day of the year for restaurants. Statistic Brain estimated that the average annual Valentine’s Day spending is $13.3 billion and that 34.6% of people dine out on Valentine’s Day. Eater found that the average cost of eating out for Valentine’s Day in 2016 was anywhere from $87 to $287 per couple – a wide range but one that leans toward higher-end meals.
Based on these statistics, you can see how important Valentine’s Day promotions are for restaurants. If you are looking for a way to boost sales after the holidays, Valentine’s Day is the time to do it. 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 shape desserts or Valentine’s Day inspired cocktails, incorporate the holiday into your menu. 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
According to Wedding Wire, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular day for proposals. Someone is bound to pop the question at your restaurant on Valentine’s Day so why not make their experience a little more special? Help create the perfect environment for a proposal with a Valentine’s Day engagement package. This could include flowers, champagne, photography, a limo ride after the 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.
Valentine’s Day Packages
Also 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 really help create a unique and romantic experience. Base your music selection on your restaurant concept. 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 the space allows, think about rearranging your tables in a way that makes conversation from table-to-table easier. You could even incorporate a few games to help your guests get acquainted with one another.
Discount for First 10 Couples to Make a 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 10 people to make a reservation. This discount could be a percentage off or a coupon for a free menu item. A 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 searching social media for the best Valentine’s Day restaurant promotions. This is a good time to update your website and social media accounts with new photos, and ensure all information (address, phone number, hours of operations, etc.) are up-to-date. Running boosted ads on Facebook can help get the word out about your Valentine’s Day promotions and specials. There are ad options for 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 by late January. You will want to give yourself enough time to make sure your strategy is well thought out and executable. 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 restaurant marketing tips that can benefit management. If you are looking for additional tips to prepare strictly for the big holiday, download our Valentine’s Day webinar!
About the Author
Emily Wimpsett 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.