Five Ways Your Restaurant Can Elevate Valentine’s Day in 2021

Five Ways Your Restaurant Can Elevate Valentine’s Day in 2021

Valentine’s Day and its surrounding weekend is one of the busiest times of year for most full-service restaurants. Last year, you were probably able to make the most of Valentine’s Day for your restaurant by changing up the menu, adjusting your table configurations to suit more couples, and requesting reservation deposits. This year, however, will undoubtedly be different.

With temperatures plummeting and the pandemic threat still looming, many happy couples will likely choose to stay home for Valentine’s dinner in 2021. This means you’ll need to get even more creative with your lovey-dovey offerings.

Most importantly, you’ll need to continue to meet your customers where they are. If they’re heading out to safely dine in your restaurant, that’s fantastic. But, if they want to take their romantic meal to-go, you need to be ready to make that happen.

As the big day approaches, we’d like to share some ideas that may spark inspiration. Keep reading and let’s make some sparks fly!

 

5 Ways to Elevate a Socially Distant Valentine’s Day

If you’re looking to offer an unforgettable experience this Valentine’s Day, you’ve found the right post! Here are five ideas to help you create an intimate atmosphere, even from a distance.

 

IDEA ONE: Offer a Romantic Prix Fixe Meal, To Go

Many couples look forward to enjoying a multi-course, decadent meal paired with the perfect wine for Valentine’s Day. There’s just something extra magical about lobster tails and crème brûlée when you’re with that special someone. However, those aren’t easy dishes to make yourself!

Save your customers the pressure of trying to prepare the perfect meal this holiday by offering a prix fixe option. Better yet, consider including instructions for reheating or cooking the meal at home to bring your customers a little closer to that perfect restaurant experience.

 

IDEA TWO: Let Cupid’s Arrow Fly with Romantic Add-Ons

Especially this year, enhancing the Valentine’s Day dining experience with small, impromptu add-ons will go a long way.

What do we mean by add-ons?

It will depend on your restaurant and your customers, but overall, we’re thinking anything that makes you think of celebrating love. Things like flowers, romantic candlelight, chocolate-covered strawberries, and champagne are typical romantic add-ons. There are a few different ways to offer these things to your customers this year:

1. Allow them to order ahead of time.

Many restaurants offer these special options at this time of year, so your customers may expect the ability to order them ahead of time. This way, they can surprise their sweetie with a fresh bouquet of roses or chilled champagne waiting on the table. Include details for any special Valentine’s add-ons you will be offering on your website and in your online menu.


2. Surprise them with their pick-up order.

Show your at-home guests how much you care about their special evening with a surprise personal touch. Depending on your budget, you could include a small box of complimentary chocolates, bottle of wine, red roses, or even just a simple, personalized note. Your guests will appreciate the extra sentiment and your conscious effort to improve their experience.


3. Enhance the atmosphere in your restaurant.

Are you changing up the food or drink menu for Valentine’s Day? Make sure the overall atmosphere of your restaurant is cohesive with that special menu. This will help to enhance the experience for those guests who do choose to dine-in with you this holiday.

 

IDEA THREE: Create a Themed, Love-Filled Menu

As with all the tips we’ve provided here, this one will depend on your restaurant’s aesthetic and target customer. Maybe your restaurant isn’t particularly equipped to offer a multi-course, prix fixe menu. Instead, consider enhancing your current menu with the theme of the holiday. Here are a few ways to do this:

      1. Create a themed cocktail menu, with recommended entrée or dessert pairings.

      2. Develop themed appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Consider including a “chef recommends” full meal list to encourage customers to order all three courses.

      3. Don’t be afraid to lean into the holiday! Use a play on words to re-name menu items you already serve and catch your customer’s eye. Here are some examples:
        • “You’ve Caught Me” Fish & Chips
        • Chocolate “I Lava You” Cake
        • “On Fire for You” Roast Chicken
      4. Offer a “couples discount”, such as buy one dessert, get one free or buy two entrees, get a free bottle of wine.

Choose the option that fits best with your restaurant style and go for it!

 

IDEA FOUR: Partner with a Local Bakery or Candy Shop

Spread the love to your customers and fellow businesses this year by developing a partnership. If there is a small bakery, cake shop, or confectionery in your area, consider reaching out to them to see if they would be interested in partnering with you for the holiday. Your partnership could be as simple as offering a coupon for one another’s business with every purchase. This is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to promote small business support in your area!

 

IDEA FIVE: Offer a Virtual Cooking Class

Maybe your customers have spent too much time ordering takeout together at home. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, they don’t want to just order another meal. They’d rather do something fun and different! You can help them achieve this goal and still have a great holiday meal, by offering an online cooking class. Simplify the entire experience for your virtual students by offering a prepared kit with all the ingredients they’ll need to cook the special meal. Then, set a date for the live class and get cooking!        

 

Whether you choose to implement one of the ideas we’ve listed here or go your own way, don’t forget to market your special offering to your customers! You can do so quickly and easily using email, social media, or through push notifications in your restaurant app. For more tips to help you market your special holiday offers, check out these blog posts:

 

Ten Tips for Marketing Your Restaurant on Social Media

Email Marketing Basics | How to Develop Your Strategy

How to Keep Your Customers Informed and Why It’s Important

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!