Six Sweet Valentine’s Day Ideas For Your Restaurant
Takeout can be romantic, too! Turns out, Valentine’s Day in 2021 was one of the highest order volume days on ChowNow, and this year looks to be even bigger. We’re here to help you seize the moment with six easy Valentine’s Day restaurant ideas. You’ll delight your diners and drive even more sales—whether dining in at your place…or staying home at theirs! After all, satisfied diners and more sales are the perfect pair.
Valentine’s Day Restaurant Ideas
1. Create a Valentine’s Day menu
Offering new holiday specials–or even just renaming your current menu items with a Valentine’s Day twist–is a great way to grab diner attention. We can help with a predesigned menu template made specifically for Valentine’s date night. Simply download the file, type your menu items into the customizable fields, and print. Easy!
While you’re creating a set of specials or a prix fixe menu, remember to look for ways to strategically increase your ticket sizes or margins. Start by making sure your most profitable items are highlighted. Then, include premium food upsells like adding truffles to your pasta, or lobster to your mac and cheese.
Go a step further by thinking up creative date-night add-ons for the forgetful planner—like a rose for their date, or a blank Valentine’s Day card. Your diners will love you for making them look good!
2. Offer drink pairings
A special menu deserves special drinks as well! Think about creating a wine or cocktail pairing with your menu, or even just one or two specialty cocktails that can be featured that night. An easy way to do this is selecting a couple drinks that may already exist on your menu, and then simply renaming them for the night. A pink drink like your house paloma could be rebranded as a Love Potion, for instance.
In many places, alcohol can still be sold to-go. If this is the case where you are, why not curate a few wine bottles that can be ordered with takeout? Or, create a batched cocktail for two that can be served up at home. Not able to sell alcohol for takeout? You can still suggest pairings for your diners to shop on their own, or include recipes for easy cocktails to make.
3. Plan ahead with pre-orders and reservations
Get them to commit…with reservations and ordering in advance. Start taking reservations early, and to ensure that diners keep their reservations, ask for a credit card to keep on file in case of no-shows or late cancellations.
Open your Valentine’s online ordering ahead of time to help your diners stress less and get their plans in order, even if it just involves staying home. As a bonus, you get an order forecast for the holiday and know how to prepare ahead of time in case you’re balancing takeout orders with dine-in guests that night.
4. Put a bow on it
Take extra care with packaging up your takeout orders for the holiday–something to set your usual bags or boxes apart! Consider adding thoughtful but cost-effective touches like a Valentine’s Day message (perhaps with a coupon for their next order?), a handful of chocolates, or a tealight candle to go with one of your restaurant’s matchbooks.
At Abbot’s Pizza Company, the special presentation is the pizza itself–they offer the option to make any pizza heart-shaped.
5. Set the mood
Do you normally have ambient music at your restaurant? Throwing together a themed Spotify playlist is the extra touch that helps you deliver the perfect dinner on Valentine’s Day. For those guests opting for takeout, complete the ultimate at-home dining experience by sharing your restaurant’s curated playlists for their evening.
6. Sell gift cards
Make it easy for them to go on a follow-up date! Add gift cards to your online menu in set amounts so that diners can easily add one to their carts while checking out for their food.
Especially if Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday, diners will appreciate the chance to get the take-home experience now as well as the dine-in experience later, when it’s more convenient for their schedules.
Looking for an online ordering partner that will treat you right? ChowNow has everything you need to take control of your brand and grow your takeout revenue. Talk to an expert today about ChowNow’s marketing and online ordering solutions for your restaurant.