9 scrummy Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for your restaurant
Britons spend in the region of £1bn every Valentine’s Day, each spending £70-90 wooing their loved ones - and the trend looks set to continue this 14th February.
With love in the air, and lovers keen to impress, how can your business capitalise on what could be your busiest night of the year?
Create a special Valentine’s Day cocktail or mocktail to make your meal something really special. If you don’t happen to have a resident mixologist, why not grab some Valentine's Day cocktail inspiration online?
Do something special
Design a special Valentine’s Day menu, making sure you have some sweet and sensuous dessert options for any lovebirds to share, or not!
Create your menu around foods associated with love and romance: asparagus, basil, garlic and oysters are all good contenders, and chocolate is perhaps the best known aphrodisiac and plays a prominent role in Valentine's Day traditions.
Leave a souvenir
Offer your customers at least one thoughtful souvenir of the night. An elegant menu cover can offer marketing returns for years, while a fresh cut red rose or a small box of high-quality chocolates could work wonders.
Play it again Sam
Rather than canned music, why not invest in some live music? It doesn’t need to be a string quartet, you could go for single cellist, pianist or a crooner.
Pop the question to your suppliers
No, not that question. Ask your reps to get in on the action and supply some free stock for this big night. A few complimentary bottles of fizz won’t break their budget and offering a free glass on arrival to your customers will have them swooning!
Ensure you price things right
There’s a lot of competition for restaurant business on Valentine’s Day, so keep an eye out for what your local competitors are up to. Don’t forget you’re also competing with the supermarkets offering a variety of ‘eat in’ options!
Running a promotion via Yelp, Square Meal or Book a Table will certainly help ensure you appear where people are researching their Valentine’s options. Although not for every restaurant, you may also want to consider a promotion via Voucher Codes, Groupon or Wowcher.
Be ready for any proposals
Picture the scene: a low-lit restaurant, soft music, incredible food, drink & service (of course!), two lovers, a perfect evening. Get things right and maybe, just maybe, you’ll create the perfect environment for a proposal.
If that does happen make sure you’re ready with some free champagne, free desserts, and your camera - so you can share the romance across social media.
Don't be afraid to go against the tide
Depending on your customer base, you may want to against the flow. A ‘Singles’ or even ‘anti-Valentine’s Day’ theme may be appropriate for those not wishing to get caught up in all the ‘mushiness’.
You may also want to consider promoting a romantic lunch instead of dinner for patrons who want to celebrate without the crowds, or extend the menu to the nearest Saturday night - a perfect date night.
Don’t be shy
Whatever methods you decide on, make sure you tell people about it. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and so on to tell your existing customers, fans & followers what you have on offer. And encourage them to tell their friends about it too, by offering an additional special deal for those that do.
If you’re collecting your customers’ email addresses (you should be), send them an email letting them know what you have planned.
Team up with local press to offer a free Valentine’s meal for 2 to their audience in exchange for the best love story - and build a social media campaign around it.
How are you marketing your restaurant this Valentine's Day? What successes (or failures) have you had in the past? We'd love you to share your experiences with us via Twitter @scrummylondon.
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