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Why Restaurant Should Run Valentine’s Promos + 11 Promo Ideas We Love

valentine promo idea FEAT

As a small or medium-sized business, it’s more important than ever to attract customers. Thank goodness love is in the air, even during a pandemic.  People are still actively searching for restaurants to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it can be hard to set your restaurant apart from other dining options. Aside from offering excellent food and service, how can you differentiate your eatery? 

In America alone, an estimated eight billion dollars is spent on dining out on Valentine’s Day. That’s a hefty amount of money. That means, regardless of wherever you’re at in the world, it’s  especially important to entice potential diners during this traditionally lucrative holiday. By creating a simple Valentine’s Day restaurant promotion, you can create buzz about your restaurant and drum up additional business.

In order to run successful promotions, restaurants should take the following steps. But before starting,  allow enough time to advertise. This will give you time to plan for a magical weekend that adheres to government health guidelines while allowing customers time to consider their options. Additionally, use mouth-watering photos of your specials to advertise promos on social media so followers will be excited. To take it a step further, promote on a third-party app, like Snappmeal, that has followers actively seeking restaurant offers. But what promos should you run? Here are our favorite ideas for Valentine’s Day.

1. Create a special menu

People dining out on Valentine’s Day are often looking to enjoy an uncommon meal. By creating a specialty menu ahead of time, you’ll give off the message loud and clear: we want your Valentine’s Day to be remarkable. Consider creating a fancy three-course meal and, if you serve alcohol, offer a pairing menu (including for dessert) as well. Customers will literally eat it up.

2. Combo menu for two

Whether folks are out to celebrate friendship or relationships, there’s something to be said for sharing a meal with someone you care about. Encourage your customers to bring loved ones in by advertising a unique combo menu for two that you don’t offer on any other day of the year.

In the Snappmeal app, you can create this promotion easily by creating promotions under the category Voucher.

3. Voucher for couples

Who doesn’t love a deal? Offering coupons is actually a form of advertisement, with an incentive to act. Coupons can be the difference between someone choosing another restaurant over yours. Coupons or promotions will also bring you a mix of new and returning customers. And don’t limit yourself to coupons just for couples—you may want to run coupons for groups of four or even six to help bring in larger parties. If you need help running a promotion to get the word out, check our app for extra exposure.

In the Snappmeal app, you can create this promotion easily by creating promotions under the category Voucher.

4. Lottery game

Give your customers the thrill of gambling with a lottery game. This can be done in a couple ways. Get a spinning wheel (also known as a prize wheel) and label each section with different discounts and prizes, like free dessert or drinks; let your customers spin and win! Alternatively, you can try a similar idea with a raffle drum. Fill the drum with tickets of potential prizes large and small then encourage your customers to try their luck.

5. Photo booth or card making station or gig nights

valentine promo ideas

Encourage your customers to get crafty and silly. Set up a simple photo booth with a curtain backdrop, polaroid camera, and a few fun props they can keep as souvenirs—think party hats, heart-shaped glasses, and fake mustaches. Another sweet option, especially popular with families with children, is to create an area with supplies for customers to create their own custom Valentine’s cards.

Arranging a live music night would be a nice way to attract customers during Valentine’s week. Don’t forget to promote in advance. You can create the promotion easily on Snappmeal by creating a campaign under the Event or Voucher type.

6. Netflix and chill

With so many people planning on ordering takeout this year due to Covid-19 why not cash in on the trend? Consider running a “Netflix and chill” special, with discounts on couples menu items for takeaway customers only.

7. Dessert or drinks on the house

Offer a free dessert or drink for the day. Make the dessert or drink a limited-time, Valentine’s Dayonly special to tempt hungry diners. Be sure to create stipulations as needed. This might include a minimum purchase or limit-one-per-guest—whatever works for your business.

8. Offer a swag bag

Advertise Valentine’s Day grab bags for customers. Include things like candy, mini candles, lip balm, hand sanitizers—whatever you deem festive! Be sure to include a coupon, such as a buy-one-get-one-free offer,  to get them to return., You could use your own to-go bags, or get eco-friendly ones and offer the swag in reusable bags like these adorable ones from Etsy.

9. Host an online event or make a video

Staying connected online has become a popular way to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Why not take advantage of it? One way is to offer online tasting classes to help customers prepare for a romantic evening. Another is to sell tickets to and host online events like concerts or a standup comedy routine. You could also host large Zoom parties online and provide catering to customers living nearby. And, although it may seem counterproductive, creating YouTube videos about how to prepare some of your menu items can increase interest in your restaurant (and possibly provide another stream of revenue).

10. Sponsor a singles night

Rather than hosting an event at your own restaurant, you can sponsor a singles event elsewhere. This is a great advertisement for the business on its own, but you can take it a step further. Offer a special promotion, like a free dessert, to any couple who meets at the singles night and then comes to the restaurant on a date.

11. Partner & cross-promote

Small, local businesses should support one another. Work with your cohorts to promote each other. You might offer promotions for folks who visit both your restaurant and the bar next door, for example. Cross-promote with local media outlets, radio stations, newspapers and groups on social media. There’s no local organization too big or small to get in on the Valentine’s Day fun to create a strong, thriving community.

There you have it, our roundup of the best promotions to get customers in seats at your restaurant this Valentine’s Day. Remember to start early and advertise like crazy so you can have a successful, busy Valentine’s Day. At Snappmeal, we’re here to help you make your business a success story. We would love to provide you with the tools to take your restaurant to the next level. Book a meeting with us to learn more!

 

What are your go-to Valentine’s day promotions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Snappmeal Blog
Snappmeal Blog

By The Snappmeal Team

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