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Experiential Giving: How to Point Cupid’s Arrow to Your Restaurant On Valentine's Day



February is a great month to get out of the winter doldrums and back in front of your customer's minds.  It’s also a sweet month for the restaurant business, and there's nothing that says "I love you" more than a cozy Valentine’s Day dinner at home with a great meal from a beloved restaurant.


Valentine’s Day offers a golden opportunity for restaurants  to attract new guests and strengthen ties with your existing clientele. Think about creating online delivery promotions and menu specials to entice customers to order a romantic meal from your restaurant's online menu on Valentine's Day.  Remind your customers that you'll deliver their favorite dish to their door so they can enjoy their holiday in the comfort of their home.  



Why Valentine’s Day is Important to Restaurants in 2024

Due to shifts in the  economy, more and more consumers in 2024 are choosing to limit their spending on material excess and turning instead to experiential gifts. A trend that’s on the rise, restaurants can seize this huge opportunity by offering  memorable experiences on the upcoming February holiday and follow through on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and throughout the rest of the year.


Experiences don’t always have to include going out.. Many consumers have shied away from dining out on Valentine’s Day due to the increased costs and crowds.  Create packages and a menu that entices guests to order in on Valentine’s Day for an intimate experience for two. 



9 Tips for Sweetening Your Bottom Line This Valentines Day


1. Create an all-inclusive delivery menu 

Offering packages that  include dishes, drinks and desserts is advantageous for both the restaurant and its customers. Guests are often less price-sensitive, as these packages offer several options bundled together, creating an appeal for the abundance of the offer. For the restaurant, this represents an opportunity to stimulate additional sales and increase order size.


For restaurants that deliver alcohol, you can advertise wine and food pairings and add a bottle of their choice in the initial package or offer alcoholic beverage delivery with a limited wine list available for take-out and delivery. 


Looking to dive into alcoholic beverage delivery? See our blog post Alcohol Pick-up and Delivery Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Season.




2. Embrace the Puns

Valentine’s Day is one time in the year where you can go a little tongue-in-cheek , embrace cute puns, and even go a little OTT. Set hearts aflutter by adding a little V-Day-inspired names to your appetizers, dinner items, desserts and drinks.


Changing the food and drink names on your menu is a small touch, but it helps get customers in the mood. Promote your cutesy menu on social media to get customers to   start thinking about where they’ll eat on Valentine’s.


Here are a Few Examples:

  • First Kiss Fries

  • Have-a- Heart Hamburgers

  • Don’t Go  Bacon My Heart Burger

  • Lovers Lemonade

  • Cupid Crunchwrap

  • Apple-of-My-Eye Martini

  • French Kiss French Dip

  • Love Potion No. 9 Lattes

  • Whisky Off My Feet Wings 

  • Soulmate Sushi

  • Lovebird Lemon Chicken

  • Honey Pie Hamburgers

  • Espresso My Love for You 

  • Be Mine Burritos

  • Tea for Two Long Island Iced Teas 

  • One-a-Melon Mozzarella Sticks

  • Puppy Love Pizza



3. Get Gifty

Making your restaurant experience stand out is all in the  little details.  Go beyond offering food and beverages and create a landing page that allows customers to add a gift that will accompany the order. For busy consumers, anything that makes life easier is appealing.  Include the classics, like chocolates, balloons, and teddy bears , or offer something more sophisticated like a product from your grocery store, your online boutique, or partner with another brand.


To entice guests to order from your restaurant, advertise that every meal will be accompanied by a free gift as well. Little Items such as small boxes of chocolates are inexpensive but very effective. These thoughtful gestures leave a lasting impression, strengthening emotional ties with your restaurant.  And these satisfied guests are more likely to return and recommend your restaurant to friends and family. 


These ideas are also great ways for customers to send a meal to a beloved that they can’t be with in person on Valentine’s Day due to work obligations or other situations. 



4. Create a Valentine’s Brunch Menu

Offering a lovers’ brunch for Valentine’s Day represents a lucrative opportunity for restaurants. In a market saturated with traditional Valentine’s Day dinners, meals during the daylight hours can be an original alternative to help you stand out from the crowd.


This bold approach can attract guests looking for fresh ideas to make the day just a little different from all the others. Be sure to create smaller, less-expensive packages to appeal to customers on a budget. 




5. Plan an Anti-Valentine’s Day Menu

Anti-Valentine’s Day parties are on the increase. Explore a new approach to the traditional Valentine’s Day  by responding to this growing trend. This will enable you to reach a target that may be more niche, such as younger singles, who will be delighted to see that you’re trying to satisfy them.


Create party packages and get creative with cute names like Cupid-is-Stupid Party, Singles Only Sushi Night, or Platonic Pizza Party. 


Be sure to boost this event on social media where this customer base spends most of its time.  



6. Create a Galentine’s Day Menu

Valentine's Day can be a bummer for many singles, but in 2024, the day isn't just about celebrating romantic love. It's also about cherishing relationships with friends and family.  Create a special menu that celebrates Galentine's Day and don’t forget to be creative with names of menu items and the event. 


  • Be My Galentine Burritos

  • Ladies Night Lattes

  • All the Single Ladies Sushi  

  • Ringless Ribs

  • Girls-Night In Grub

  • Besties Burgers

  • Friends Forever Fries

  • Cupid-is-Stupid Cocktails


7. Extend Specials Through the Week

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, which isn’t exactly considered a big date night. But there’s no need to limit your efforts to only February 14th. Instead, extend your special meals and Valentine’s experiences throughout the week. Not only will this appeal to couples who may not be able to spend the actual holiday together, but it allows you to reap even more profits.



8. Use Valentine’s Day as a Springboard  

Once the fun is over and Valentine’s Day is in the bag, you can still get some juice out of the holiday. Create an email campaign and send thank you notes to everyone who booked a table or ordered from your online menu letting them know how much you appreciate their business.  


Use the email to remind customers about upcoming events like Mother’s Day, Easter, and Father’s Day. Email campaigns are a great way to build loyal diners and keep them in the loop about future events. You can add incentives to keep customers coming back  by offering free desserts on a future order. 



9. Use Website to Boost Reservations

For restaurants with dining rooms, you  put a lot of heart and soul into creating a menu that appeals to the lovebirds among your customer base. Maximize its impact by highlighting this menu on your website throughout the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.


Add a pop-up banner and a button on your online menu that takes visitors to your reservations page and your special Valentine’s Day menu so customers will be prompted to check out your restaurant for the big date night. 


Download and print our handy 2024 Food Holiday Calendar to remind yourself and your staff about more of the approaching holidays.  



By Eileen Strauss

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