Crush on Profits for Valentine's Day

Get excited for an increase in check averages for diners on Valentine's Day. Diners will opt for your more special dishes to treat themselves and their partner. The occasion is also a great opportunity to attract new guests by giving them a romantic evening. Below are some ways to get them to consider you for their special meal and how to create that unforgettable customer experience. 

Limited-Time Menu:

Specials are one of the first considerations when deciding on where to go for a nigh out (or in). Create a special menu ahead of time and share on social media to get customers considering your restaurant as a place to dine early on. Stress that these items are only available for a limited time. Take images of those you are especially proud of and share them leading up to February 14th.

Romantic Names and Descriptions:

It's all in the way you describe menu items in the description. Play up the theme of the occasion using creative words. Name of entrée options should get them excited to try it. You can even show personality by creating names that are 'punny'.

  • Penne Pasta in Pink Blush Sauce- Instead of a vodka sauce with penne, give it that pink tint by adding extra vodka to give a Valentine's Day theme.
  • Couple's Cannoli- Two cannoli drizzled with chocolate and strawberry syrup for the ultimate plate presentation.
Dessert Pizza: 

If there is a day of the year to indulge in sugary foods, Valentine's Day is the day to do it! Satisfy their sweet tooth with these dessert "pizzas."

  • Strawberry Chocolate Pizza- Hazelnut-Chocolate spread, sliced strawberries, sliced almonds, chocolate syrup, confectioners sugar
  • S'mores Pizza- Chocolate chips, marshmallows, crumbled graham cracker, Chocolate syrup

Heart-Shaped Classics:
  • Heart-Shaped Ravioli- Try heart-shaped cheese ravioli, which are bright vibrant red and allow for a stunning plate presentation. Recipe for our Brown Sugar Butter Sauce is a great idea for a sweet twist to your usual cheese ravioli sauce. 
  • Heart-Shaped Pizza- Simply shape the dough into a heart shape rather than a circular pie.
  • Heart-Shaped Cookies- Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to shape chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough. If you have the time, decorate with pink icing for a special touch.
Pink Beverages: 

These sweet pink beverages will look and taste celebratory. Garnish to make them feel extra special.

  • Pink Passion Mocktail- Combine ½ cup raspberry lemonade, ½ cup grapefruit juice and ½ cup lemon lime soda.
  • Pink Velvet Hot Cocoa- In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk and ½ cup of white chocolate chips. Place over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1 teaspoon red food coloring and then add more until your desired pink color is reached. Top with whipped cream and mini marshmallows (Serves 1).

Deal for Two

Since most people dining out for Valentines Day will be in a group of two, incentivize diners by creating a deal for two. This could be a certain percentage off when getting 2 entrees and then dessert since most enjoy dessert on this day. tactic to introduce new products. You can also promote a set price for two for multiple courses. Two people can share an appetizer and each have an entrée with a beverage for a set price. It gets guests to try new things.

Cozy Night-In Meal Kit 

With some people still weary of dining out with crowds and some areas still implementing restrictions on indoor dining, offer a thoughtful takeout option for two. Make it more of an experience for them by packaging toppings separately so they can customize it at home with their partner. Include simple and straightforward Instructions if it requires heating or re-heating. Below are some examples:

  • Dessert Pizza Kit 
  • Heart Shaped Pizza Kit
  • Cannoli Kit
  • Pasta Salad Kit

Encourage Photos

Offer to take photos of couples and encourage them to tag your restaurant’s location in their post. This is a great way to get some free advertising that is proven to be more effective than your own social communications. Also, create plate presentations that are ‘photo-worthy’ by garnishing and arranging your food well so they can't help but to snap a picture of it. Also don't forget to share a picture on your page and tag your customer, asking for their permission beforehand.

A Little Something for Singles 

Valentine’s day is for couples, but don’t forget about the single crowd. Anti-Valentines Day promotions have gained popularity over the recent years. Imagine all the unromantic food you can think of such as garlicky foods and messy foods. Essentially pick foods that they can eat guilt-free for the night. Get creative with the names of these unromantic items on the specials menu by giving them anti-valentines day names, such as “I'd Rather Fall into Chocolate” for chocolate lava cake or "Singles Spaghetti Aglio e Olio."

A Thoughtful Giveaway for Diners of Two 

Consider offering couples who dine in a small gift with their meal as a friendly gesture such as handing them a single flower when they arrive or a little treat after their dinner. This could also be as simple as a couple pieces of chocolate with their bill. Even just a thoughtful, simple handwritten note with their food will not be unnoticed.

Final Thoughts

Try to be unique as much as you can because many are doing the same thing, so you should think out of the box. Begin promoting these fun Valentine's Day offers a couple weeks ahead of time. Use signage, social media, email lists, or any other form of marketing to communicate with customers. Depending on your restaurant you may want to encourage reservations ahead of time, so communicate how this can be done to them. Lastly, be sure to pair your amazing food with great service, and excellent atmosphere. Plan now to make this Valentine's Day a huge success.