It’s almost that time of year again. Cupid’s love is in the air, and millions of couples will be planning on dining out on this special day. According to one study, nearly 62% of consumers will go out to celebrate the holiday, with the average couple spending around $80. It has been noted that Americans are expected to spend upwards of $18 billion this Valentine’s Day alone. Of that, $4 billion will be spent out to eat at restaurants. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that Valentine’s Day has the potential to be a very productive day for your business. We have put together a list of sure-fire ways to help you get on the right track for the big day, in Cupid’s name.
For any promotion, planning is always the most important step, and is crucial to this being a successful night. The first key step is to plan your menu. Will you be focusing on old favorites or new dishes? Don’t be afraid to switch it up! Make sure your staff is prepped and in tune with the featured menu, so that they could play a role in the promotion. After the pre-planning and preparations have been made for the menu, the next step is promoting your Valentine’s Day specials. The ideal time to start promoting your specials is toward the end of January. A good place to start would be advertising to customers in-house. In addition to promoting Valentine’s Day on-premise, online promotion is a great tool for advertising. People are always on their smart phones, which is one of the main reasons why social media is such an awesome marketing tool. Promotion through social media gives you the capabilities of promoting any event, without the need to budget for advertising. Preparing special web offers, and allowing customers to book their reservations online will be quite enticing to customers looking to save time and money. This also appeals to a younger audience who are more inclined to get their information from social media. Young people are an excellent target group, full of enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day. Having some items on your specials list catered to this audience could potentially create a new generation of returning customers.
Set the Mood
One of the keys to creating a successful Valentine’s Day dining experience is to dress it up. Get festive, and really set the mood for your diners. Decorate your dining room with red roses, light candles at the tables, and don’t be afraid to dim the lighting. Give the couples that choose to spend their evening with you something to remember. This also includes providing spot on service. Prepare personal place cards at tables of customers that have made reservations in advance, this will add more of a personal touch. Your wait staff should know the specials and pairings for this night like the back of their hand. Another way to create a memorable experience for the Valentine’s Day diners is to be prepared to honor special requests, such as wedding ring arrangements. How exciting would a proposal at your restaurant be!
Something for Singles
With all the talk about couples, it’s important to not forget about all of the single people out there who are just as hungry. While research has shown that international cuisine is most popular amongst couples, it has also shown that single-diners flock to comfort food on Valentine’s Day. Pizza and wing specials are a great way to offer single diners what they want. To attract singles looking to dine out, try offering a Lone Wolf Feast or an All the Single Ladies Happy Hour special. Businesses have also found success running Anti-Valentine’s Day specials for all of those people who loathe the holiday. There are countless possibilities for this promotion, such as a break-up story competition where the winner receives a free meal or gift certificate.
Over the years, reports have shown that even though Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants, most people don’t actually dine out. With many couples choosing to spend the evening in their own homes, try to emphasize making your take-out/delivery service top notch for Valentine’s Day. Services such as Grub Hub and Uber Eats now allow customers the luxury of not even having to leave their house to enjoy a nice meal. Whether you’re catering to singles or couples, stepping up your game for take-out can make all the difference in making their meal one to remember.
We wish you the best this Valentine’s Day as always from your friends at SFS!