Valentine’s Day Ideas (In & Out) for Restaurants

Posted by Stephanie Hilliard on Sep 01, 2023

Valentine’s Day Ideas (In & Out) for Restaurants

Is your restaurant ready to spread the love this Valentine’s Day? Whether you go all out for the holiday or you’re struggling for some ideas, Valentine’s Day is always a busy day in the restaurant industry so it’s important to make the most of it. If you’re typically slower in the winter months, the Valentine’s Day crowd can also help boost your profits. 

Check out these ideas to give your customers all the heart eyes, and possibly attract some new customers as well! 

Love Is On the Menu 

Adding limited time dishes to your menu is always a great way to pique customers’ interests. Berry-infused pancakes shaped into a heart? Chocolate ganache cupcakes? Heart latte foam art? All delicious, pertinent to the theme, and perfect for gearing up for Valentine’s Day! Offering heart-shaped foods or incorporating holiday flavors like chocolate or berries is an easy way to add extra love to your dine-in and takeout menus. Since Valentine’s Day does tend to be dessert-heavy, consider partnering with a local bakery and offer their themed desserts for purchase in your restaurant. From the beginning of February until Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make these additions to your menu and create a sense of urgency for customers to get these limited time items while they’re here! 

Raise Your Glass 

Just like your food menu, your cocktail menu (dine-in or takeout!) is another perfect place to show some seasonal flair! Have your bartenders experiment with ingredients like chocolate, cherries, candy, strawberries, and champagne for unique offerings that will entice customers. If your drinks are limited to outside vendors, work with your local brewery or winery to showcase the decadent flavors typically associated with the Valentine’s Day holiday!  

An Event to Remember 

Like many establishments, your restaurant may be facing a labor shortage, so it’s important to use your resources wisely. One way to do this and go all out for Valentine’s Day is to create a ticketed/flat price event with limited course offerings. Offering this type of menu can streamline the preparations your back of house needs to do while and give you a good idea of the amount of parties that will be attending to schedule your waitstaff. By having customers by admission in advance, they’re more likely to show up for their spot since they’ve already spent the money. 

Don’t Shy Away From Offering Takeout Options  

Give customers that want to stay home for Valentine’s Day a way to patronize your business with Valentine’s meals to go! If you’re having special menu items the day-of, it’s important to also spread this to your takeout menu for those who would prefer to stay home on this historically hectic holiday. Be sure that you have adequate takeout containers and silverware for the big day to accommodate these orders. You can also offer a free cocktail to-go or discounted dessert if you’d like to encourage more people to dine at home! 

A Giving Heart 

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love; it can also be the time your restaurant gives back to the community. Host a fundraiser for a local school in need of warm clothes, have a portion of February meals going to the community shelter, or plan a benefit for a family in need. There are many ways that your restaurant can give back to its community and give a different meaning to Valentine’s Day sans romance.  

Partner Up 

Valentine’s Day can be stressful for customers striving for the perfect gift for their partner. Make it easier and give them the full package, your restaurant included! Consider joining up with other establishments like movie theaters, florists, or candy stores to create the ultimate Valentine’s Day package for customers to give to their sweethearts. By joining forces with these other businesses, you can work together and mutually benefit while also offering a very convenient option for customers to give.  

Go the Nontraditional Route 

Tired of doing the same kind of events for Valentine’s Day or want to supplement your day-of happenings? Try having a nontraditional celebration like an anti-Valentine’s Day party or a Galentine’s Day brunch the day before to shake up the norm. Both of these aren’t typical themes for restaurants so you could be ahead of the curve and start can’t miss events for years to come. Valentine’s Day can be a depressing day if you’re not part of a couple, so these event ideas may attract and refuel those customers’ fun for the holiday, all at your establishment. 

Valentine’s Day can be a great opportunity to host your regular customers while also attracting some new ones with your freshy and fun slate of events and menu! It never hurts to spread a little love with your customers and community. 

What does your restaurant have slated for Valentine’s Day this year? Let us know below! 

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