Did you know? Compared to an average day, reservation requests climb by 500% on February 14, making it the second busiest day of the year for restaurants right behind Mother’s Day. To boost this month’s sales around love’s favorite holiday, try some of these trends and tips to get customers through your door.
- Open for business earlier. Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, making it susceptible to tired diners who may want to celebrate but not be out too late. Along with a special dinner menu, look into offering a celebratory lunch menu to reach patrons who might not be up for heading to dinner after work. By offering an earlier daypart Valentine’s meal, it could help offset the pricier food costs of dinner. Offering a few menu options at different parts throughout the day will attract a broader crowd and keep you busy throughout the holiday.
- Be social. Social media that is! Offering a special menu or promotion and making sure patrons are aware of it is key to having your establishment win out over the Valentine’s Day competition. It’s crucial to get the word out so people are aware of what you are offering well in advance of the holiday. With 86% of millennials saying they try a new restaurant after seeing content about it online, it’s an easy and effective way to generate buzz. Add some Valentine’s Day pizazz to your content with colorful imagery to grab their attention.
- Drinks and desserts. According to the National Restaurant Association, 34% of restaurants offer celebratory booze or sweets on Valentine’s Day and diners are 50% more likely to buy dessert on Valentine’s Day than on a typical day. Be sure to prepare accordingly and have your menu stacked with options to make it easy to indulge in these holiday must-haves.
- Offer a pre-fixed takeout menu. Take advantage of this easy add-on for patrons who don’t want to cook or fight the crowds. 63% of diners prefer a pre-fixed menu on Valentine’s Day and by offering this, you can bypass in-house customer limits and serve more people. Doing this type of menu makes it feel like more of an occasion and special no matter where they are eating their meal. Add even more value by providing instructions to show how they can plate their meal at home.