With Valentine’s Day approaching in just a couple of short weeks, your restaurant is undoubtedly bound to enjoy some increased business. As reported by AJ Beltis on ToastTab.com, “Valentine\’s Day is the second-most popular day to dine out in America, with around 70 million people heading to a restaurant on February 14.”
We know that the popularity of Valentine’s Day restaurant visits is just as popular, here in Canada. However, as a restaurateur, it’s imperative that you don’t take these statistics for granted. Naturally, you have a lot of competition out there. Filling your restaurant on Valentine’s Day will require some effort.
Here are three ideas to help you pull it off:
1. Go social media crazy over the next couple of weeks.
Your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts should be filled with Valentine’s Day-based messages over the next couple of weeks. Promote the fact that your restaurant offers specially-priced menu items, romantic decor and incomparable dining experiences to attract patrons. Convey that these offerings are available in the weeks leading up to February 14th and not just on that one special day alone.
Beltis reports on an interesting promotional idea that can engage your social media followers. “Restaurant chain Mimi\’s Cafe has found a way to increase traffic to their both Facebook page and their restaurant on Valentine\’s Day,” he writes, “Those who declare their love on the Mimi\’s Facebook page get a free entreé for their efforts.”
2. Partner with another business to provide a unique experience.
What can you give your restaurant’s patrons that other restaurants cannot? Perhaps, a bouquet of flowers, a massage or even a hotel stay can come with their meals. Since your business clearly doesn’t offer such things, why not partner up with a company that does? By doing so, you can offer an incomparable Valentine’s Day experience to loving couples.
“Partner up with some of your other neighbourhood businesses to design an entire experience that’s about more than just the meal,” suggests The Chef on Upserve.com, “If you have a spa nearby, maybe work with them to put a package together that includes a couple’s massage before dinner. Have a hotel in your neighbourhood? Plan a package that includes an overnight there following dinner.”
3. Highlight your gift card program.
According to Beltis, the National Restaurant Association has reported that one-third of consumers say that they would like to receive a restaurant gift card as a Valentine’s Day gift.
“While dining and eating out is a gift given by 35% of those in a relationship, 82% of people would rather receive an experience rather than a gift from their significant other,” he reveals, “Promoting your gift card availability as early as right now could catch the eye of someone looking to buy a gift for their sweetheart. This has the potential to increase sales on and after Valentine\’s Day and generate more revenue from your restaurant gift card program.”