Business development · 7 February 2020

How to get diners to fall in love with your restaurant this Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s day is around the corner, and this year, it lands on a Friday. This means that restaurants and other franchises should expect a busy weekend of couples and friends coming together to celebrate.

You’ll notice that the large conglomerates like KFC, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme start their Valentine’s campaigns at the start of January. But don’t be disheartened, it’s certainly not too late to start your own Valentine’s campaign. We wanted to share some tips on how to get your customers to fall in love with your restaurant.

Create a limited edition menu

The most obvious thing to do is to develop Valentine’s inspired menu. If you can’t create a whole new dish, take an existing meal and add a twist. For examples, pizza restaurants can make pizzas in a heart shape, or coffee shops make coffees in pink or red.

Perhaps you can present one of your standard dishes differently – maybe you can serve it on a sharing platter to make sharing more comfortable, or can make half a portion of two different dishes on one plate so each person can try each other’s food.

Use the right imagery and branding

Another easy way to create a unique experience for Valentine’s day is to customise your menus and social media channels with Valentine’s appropriate images.

The bonus of doing this is that you can reuse them next year. Perhaps you can change the colours of your logo to pink and red, or add hearts and other love-associated images in it.

Create a valentine’s day card invite

As physical cards are going out of fashion, why not offer diners Valentine’s card e-vite to send to their date? The e-vite should be sent after a reservation has been made so that they can send it to their date, complete with all the relevant booking and menu details. 

You can also give cards with items purchased. Krispy Kreme is giving customers in the US 12 free ‘Share The Love’ Valentine’s day cards with each dozen doughnuts purchased. Each of these cards includes a coupon for one free doughnut, inviting further customers into the store who will most likely purchase more doughnuts while they’re there.

Incentivise interaction on social media

If you measure social media engagement, you should reward for it, too. You might want to consider creating a competition on your social channels with the chance to win a free meal or bottle of Prosecco with dinner.

Create a “singles” or ‘Galentine’s’ offer

Remember, not everyone is loved up on Valentine’s day. By creating an offer or atmosphere that’s welcoming to singles or groups of friends, you could carve out a niche for your restaurant as a lonely-hearts club, of sorts. You could create offers on delivery for single meals or on drinks ordered in odd numbers. 

Automate your loyalty programme

If you have a loyalty programme in place, now is the time to automate it. By doing so, you can store purchasing data that helps you match customers with the best promotion. You could provide their favourite drink or appetizer for free or offer to deliver their favourite meal to their door at a discount. 

All these Valentine’s offers can be adapted for other holidays and be implemented quickly and easily. The more you can personalise your offerings for your diners, the more likely they are to come back to you.

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Jurgen Ketel is MD at Givex

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