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By Dana Krook
It’s the week before Valentine’s Day and Dave is behind when it comes to arranging swoon-worthy festivities for the object of his affection. His suit needs to be dry cleaned, every flower shop in his area is at capacity, he’s up against a sixty hour workweek and, by some cruel twist of fate, the custom heart necklace he ordered online is delayed. His Valentine’s Day Plans are in flames. But just when he’s lost all hope, in comes an email from you, dear restaurant owner: “A Romantic Booth for Two: Join Us on Valentine’s Day for a Special Three-Course Meal.”
Last minute lovers exist and they’re looking for last minute Valentine’s Day restaurant promotions. In fact, 50% of gifts are purchased the week before Valentine’s Day. So if your restaurant is delayed in creating a Valentine’s Day promotion, reservations are thinner than expected, or you want to add one more pièce de résistance to separate you from the herd of pink and red, don’t fret.
Thankfully, there’s an enormous opportunity to take advantage of Valentine’s Day restaurant promotions for a boost in sales. Valentine’s Day is the second busiest holiday for restaurants (just behind Mother’s Day), with about 25% of Americans dining out. That means millions of couples will be looking up heartwarming deals – it’s time to get your dishes noticed!
To help you traverse the fine line between last minute and just in time, we’ve done our best to provide you with a list of un-cheesy promotions with a fast turnaround. So get out the candlesticks, bust out the roses, dim the lights, and cue John Mayer – these strategies will help you effectively reach last minute lovers and entice them to choose you over the competition.
Valentine’s is all about the mood and romance, but let’s not forget why everyone is really venturing out to restaurants for Valentine’s Day – the food! There are a couple of ways to fancy up your menu offerings for dine-in or takeout.
The average American expects to spend an average of $142 on a Valentine’s Day present for their significant other. So whether you’re giving a percentage off the total bill, or a free appetizer and dessert, every little bit encourages diners to choose your restaurant over another.
Don’t be shy about sending out a promotional Valentine’s Day email a day or two before the big night. It might be the best way to become top of mind with customers looking to book a reservation under the wire.
While you may think the time has come and gone to set up some Valentine’s Day restaurant promotions on social media, it’s not too late if you do it right! Posting on social media is one of the most effective restaurant promotion ideas and the best way to get in front of hungry customers. Here are a few ways to engage last minute lovers over your social channels.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, at-home options like takeout and delivery were becoming increasingly popular options for Valentine’s Day. Now, couples have many options to order, dine, send gifts, and even have date nights – all within the comfort of their own homes. Here are a few at-home options you can offer guests:
Remember, the way to the last minute lover’s heart is through the stomach. Don’t be dismayed if you haven’t initiated your Valentine’s Day restaurant promotion yet, there’s still time. So go now and send that email, post that Instagram photo, and print off that prix fixe menu. You’ve got a hot date with last minute lovers and it’s going to be great.
Dana is the former Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.
By Katie McCann
By Katherine Pendrill
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