Spark romance: Win the hearts of your guests with these 14 Valentine’s Day ideas

Play cupid using these marketing promotions to boost your restaurant reservations and online revenue on Valentine's Day

TableCheck

TableCheck

Feb 10, 2023 - 4 min read

Spark romance: Win the hearts of your guests with these 14 Valentine’s Day ideas

Valentine’s Day has always been one of the most lucrative days for businesses and entrepreneurs. It's the second busiest day of the year for restaurants, and reservations surge as people celebrate it by dining out or taking part in a special event in a restaurant, hotel, or any other dining space. With customers ready to splash out on this special day, restaurants should take advantage of this date to increase their profits, and make a great impression on clients.

Over the years, the holiday has also evolved to include more than couples. In the form of pre-Day Valentine's specials or group packages, restaurants should think about expanding their Valentine's Day offerings to appeal to a larger audience. It's a strategy for embracing love in all of its manifestations, encouraging inclusivity, raising restaurant sales, and giving customers a friendlier, more positive dining experience.

Here's how restaurants can let their customers know that they are the perfect place to enjoy this special day:

1. Create a Valentine’s Day menu to remember

With more people ready to splurge for something special, Valentine's Day is the time of the year when restaurants should offer menu specials. Create a Valentine's Day theme set menu and plate it to look romantic but also one-of-a-kind. A good range of desserts, champagne, and wine pairings go a long way to help elevate the guest experience for Valentine's Day.

Saint Pierre's romantic dinner menu starts with caviar, a luxury treat for special occasions like Valentine's Day. Find out more about their lunch and dinner menu at the two Michelin-starred restaurant here.

2. Pick ingredients associated with romance

Feature ingredients that remind people of romance. Go for oysters and incorporate dark chocolate, chili peppers, and avocados as part of the set menu. Adding a charcuterie board of appetizers prepared with seasonal ingredients, paired with cocktails or red wine can also help provide a special and intimate dining experience for guests. Try adding figs, strawberries, and smoked salmon to create that romantic atmosphere in your restaurant.

3. Go bold on desserts

No Valentine’s meal is complete without sweets. Get artisan bakers and pastry chefs to whip up special Valentine’s heart-shaped treats like cakes, chocolate mousse, dulce de leche, souffle, chocolate fondant, or even the classic French macarons to make your meals extra special. Reinvent your normal desserts on something Instagram-worthy and offer these desserts for preorders to allow customers to order them in advance.

4. Turn that V-day restaurant menu for delivery takeouts

Not all guests can dine at restaurants to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Restaurants should consider offering Valentine's Day package meals or special deals for takeout. It's one way for restaurants to score more revenue and help extend that loving feeling for those who are at home. The trick to making it special is in the packaging so make sure that the meals come in special packages.

 Valentine's Day Dinner takeout
Offer Valentine's Day Dinner takeout to cater to guests who want to celebrate the big day at home

5. Pre-Valentine's Day offerings

Rather than just banking on V-day itself, restaurants can create a pre-Valentine's offering to increase sales in the run-up to the day. The weekend before Valentine's Day is an ideal time for restaurants to ramp up their V-day offerings and showcase their special menu, as many couples or friends may want to avoid paying the hefty fees associated with V-day dinners. Valentine's Day also tends to be too crowded so some guests would prefer to make dining plans earlier to avoid the V-day crowd or traffic.

By offering unique and romantic dining experiences before Valentine's Day, restaurants differentiate themselves from their competitors and make more lasting impressions with guests by recreating the idea of Valentine's Day into a Valentine's Week celebration.

6. Create Valentine's Day packages for groups

Having group packages for Valentine's Day extends the restaurant demographic beyond just couples. First, not everyone has a significant other, or some people are just more inclined to celebrate the day with a group of friends.

Group packages also provide diners with a different dining experience at a fraction of the cost compared to normal V-day reservations, making the day more inclusive. This will help generate more revenue for the restaurant and will help position the restaurant brand as more accessible and open than other competitors. Overall, offering restaurant group packages for Valentine's Day is a smart business strategy.

7. Empower women and other genders on Galentine's Day

Galentine's Day (February 13) has become a huge marketing opportunity for restaurants. It is typically a day for celebrating female friendships but has now evolved to include other types of friendships in all its manifestations. By offering Galentine's Day special packages, restaurants provide an alternative option to this growing customer base and also help empower women, fostering a positive brand and more revenue for the restaurant.

8. Redecorate the restaurant for the big day

Restaurant lighting can give any restaurant space that romantic ambiance. And with the right amount of candles, it will surely help create an intimate and romantic setting perfect for a romantic dinner. Balance the lighting throughout the restaurant and use tasteful decor to make a cozy atmosphere.

9. Create romantic table settings

There are many Valentine’s day table-setting themes to choose from, but what’s important is to let the centerpiece and table decor mirror the meal and the restaurant. If the restaurant has a fine-dining atmosphere, one option is to go for something moody.  Choose a dark pink or purple for linen, match it with gold or silverware, and place candles and fresh or faux flowers. Another more casual style is to go for a pastel color scheme.

10. Curate special music for Valentine’s

The right type of music can heighten that Valentine's Day atmosphere. Acoustic music is more appropriate for classic restaurants or fine-dining establishments while live music matches with bars or outdoor spaces.

As long as the music is free to use or there is a music license, restaurants should pair that romantic meal with good music.

A group of musicians serenade guests
A group of musicians serenades guests

11. Promote your Valentine's specials on social media

Restaurants should extend their V-day theme to their social media channels including Instagram or Facebook. However, make sure to design the social media graphics according to the type of restaurant or Valentine's Day special menus.

See how the Up and Above restaurant, an all-day dining venue at the Okura Prestige in Bangkok showcased a teaser of their Valentine's menu. The restaurant, located on the 24th floor of the hotel, is a special romantic spot, as it has a half-moon outdoor terrace where guests can view the Bangkok skyline.

Meanwhile, Baan Tepa, a Michelin-starred restaurant based in Bangkok, has opted for a rose-colored social media theme to promote its six-course Valentine's Day tasting menu, created by one of the most exciting female chefs today, Chef Tam Chudaree Debhakam.

12. Promote your outdoor venue

Outdoor dining will remain popular for special occasions like Valentine’s Day. Restaurants can offer up their best outdoor tables to create that romantic vibe. If the restaurant has an open-air space and as long as the weather allows, an outdoor pop-up will make an outstanding and popular romantic dining spot.

13. Brand your booking form

A branded booking form is one of the most direct ways restaurants can let their customers know about their Valentine’s Day specials. A well-designed booking form will set the tone for guest expectations when they reserve a Valentine's Day table at your restaurant.

The TableCheck booking form allows restaurants to make their brand memorable and stand out. Restaurants can use this branded booking form on their social media platforms and embed it on their homepage.

TableCheck branded booking form

14. Create a Valentine-themed EDM marketing campaign

Build excitement around Valentine’s events early by using EDM (electronic direct mail) and sending information about exclusive promos and gift packages to clients. Use heart emojis in your subject line to catch guests' attention, create templates in reds and pinks, and other Valentine's Day colors, and an engaging layout that is consistent with your branding.

The TableCheck EDM feature allows restaurants to create automated marketing campaigns for special occasions like Valentine's Day.

RELATED: How to create successful EDM marketing campaigns

Valentine's Day is one of the year's busiest days for restaurants. As the big day is fast approaching, these simple marketing tactics can help restaurants deliver a perfect romantic experience for guests whether they are dining in their restaurant or at home.

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