Restaurant Toolkit

18 Valentine's Day Promotion Ideas for Restaurants and Bars in 2023 

Skyrocket sales with these 18 Valentine’s Day Promotion ideas for restaurants, bars, and cafes in 2023
min. read

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With Valentine's Day just a heartbeat away, it's time for your restaurant to woo customers, whether they're looking for a romantic night out or staying in. With the right promotions, you can turn this holiday into a profitable event for your restaurant. In this blog, we'll share 18 Valentine’s Day Promotion ideas for restaurants looking to increase sales and reach new customers.

18 promotion ideas to boost sales this Valentine’s Day

1. Create a Pre-fixed menu: Give your customers the gift of convenience by offering a pre-fixed menu for a romantic evening at your restaurant. Not only will a set menu help simplify things for your staff, but it will also provide budget-friendly options for couples who want to enjoy a special meal without breaking the bank. To create an unforgettable two-for-one deal, make a menu that includes your most popular starters, main courses, and desserts. And remember to add a little extra sparkle with a unique cocktail or glass of champagne!

2. Run an Anti-Valentine's Day Promotion: Appeal to your single customers by offering an "Anti-Valentine's Day" promotion or discount. Decorate your restaurant in black and white instead of red and pink, or use ironic decor elements. Offer menu items or specials that play off traditional Valentine's Day fare, like "breakup" burgers or "single AF" cocktails. This promotion has a high potential for viral moments—so promote the discount on social media to drive customer engagement.

3. Create a custom landing page: Create a custom website landing page to centralize all your Valentine's Day information and offers. The page should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices. Include eye-catching graphics, menu item descriptions, and a clear call-to-action. Use the page to gather customer email addresses with a sign-up form or encourage them to follow your social media accounts.

4. Customize your tip jar or chalkboard: Customize your tip jar or chalkboard for Valentine's Day with catchy messages, jokes, or quotes about love. For example, you can put a note on your Tip Jar that says “ "Roses are red, Violets are blue, Leave a big tip, We love serving you! Or if you have a chalkboard outside your restaurant, drive customers in the door with clever messages like “Single this V-day? Come drink about it” or “Roses are red, violets are blue, if your love language fries, come on through.” Take a photo of these clever call-outs for your Valentine's Day promotions on social media or email! 

5. Amp up the Ambiance: Create a romantic and intimate atmosphere by decorating your restaurant with candles, flowers, and soft lighting. Play romantic music, love songs, or jazz to enhance the mood. Additionally, don’t forget that ambiance can be created outside the confines of your physical brick-and-mortar. Help customers create a lovely atmosphere at home by including special red and pink delivery packaging, stickers, cards, or complimentary desserts to include in your orders. 

6. Offer Gift card promotions: Gift cards are the #1 most requested Valentine's Day gift for men, according to the National Restaurant Association. Offer a special discount or bonus when customers purchase a gift card during the holiday. For example, you could offer a $20 bonus for every $100 spent on gift cards. Promote the limited-time offer online and via email marketing. If you need help crafting a great email marketing promotion, check out our templates that you can use to customize with your own Valentine's Day messaging! 

7. Host a Galentines Day brunch promotion: Celebrate women's love for their gal pals with a special Galentine's Day Brunch featuring a special cocktail menu and flower decorations. Offer discounts for larger groups and encourage reservations ahead of time for excellent customer service. Bonus points if you can provide any opportunity for a photo-op to encourage Galentines to document the brunch, creating user-generated content for your restaurant.

8. Host a speed-dating night: Run a promotion encouraging customers to attend a speed-dating night at your bar or restaurant. You can find a simple speed-dating question prompts online and set a timer for two minutes, encouraging customers to switch tables! Make sure to advertise the match-making event on your restaurant’s website and social platforms. 

9. Promote your aphrodisiac ingredients: Highlight aphrodisiac ingredients on your menu for a creative Valentine's Day promotion. Aphrodisiacs are believed to have the power to increase desire and enhance sensuality. Some common aphrodisiacs include chocolate, oysters, avocado, and strawberries. To showcase your restaurant's aphrodisiac offerings, consider creating a special Valentine's Day menu that focuses on these ingredients. Additionally, advertise the aphrodisiac elements of your menu through email marketing, social media, and in-store signage. Not only will this create a fun and romantic atmosphere, but it will also entice customers to try something new and unique.

10. Run short-video promotions on TikTok or Instagram: Running promotions for Valentine's Day on TikTok or Instagram Reels is a great way to reach a younger, tech-savvy audience. Create short, fun, and engaging videos showcasing your special menu items, romantic atmosphere, or special offers. Use catchy music, eye-catching animations, and clever hashtags to make your content stand out. Incentivize customers to share their videos or photos from your restaurant by offering a discount or giveaway.

11. Host a Valentine's Day party: If your restaurant or bar typically hosts events, take advantage of the holiday by hosting a “Valentine's Day night or party. Consider creating a fun theme to drive buzz for the night—for example, a 2000s-themed night or a cupid costume party. If you want to go all out, you can also provide your guest's colored wristbands based on their relationship status (single, taken, it’s complicated).

12. Send your regulars a personalized Valentine: Offer personalized Valentines (through email or mail) to show appreciation to your loyal customers. You can also post a Valentine on your social channels with  “I love my customers” messaging for your regulars. Additionally, you can allow your customers to personalize their Valentine's Day gifts—whether through a customized case, menu, or delivery packaging. 

13. Offer Valentine's-themed desserts or flowers: Create fun Valentine's-themed desserts or partner with a local bakery to offer chocolate sweets, candy-heart toppings, sugar flowers, and more. Consider branding boxes of chocolate with your restaurant's logo or partnering with a nearby florist to help decorate your restaurant for the special day. 

14. Invite micro-influencers for a complimentary Valentines Day meal: Ask local micro-influencers in the area if they can dine at your restaurant and hype up your menu this Valentine's Day! Giving them a complimentary meal can give your reputation a boost across the popular social media channels.

15. Provide a special pink drink discount: Create special pink drinks for the holiday, such as a Love Martini or Rose Petal Margarita. Offer a "Buy One, Get One" promotion on cocktails to encourage couples to indulge in a drink together. You can also include wine pairings on your menu to help guide customers to enjoy their meals.

16. Put up Valentine's Day flyers. Create Valentine's Day flyers to promote your restaurant and drive business from local customers. Use Canva for easy and customizable love-themed templates. While many people have pivoted to strictly online promotions in today’s digital world, don’t underestimate the power of hanging up physical flyers in your neighborhood and at local coffee shops.  After all, many customers will likely need a reminder that the holiday is coming up, and if your restaurant can be the one to remind them, there’s a great chance they’ll choose your spot for date night. 

17. Make a Rom-com-themed promotion: Restaurants can run romantic-comedy-themed promotions for Valentine's Day by playing off the classics. For example, since “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days” has had a recent resurgence in popularity on TikTok,  you can use quotes from the movie or turn classic scenes into memes. Restaurants can also offer movie-themed specials, such as a"Pretty Woman" happy hour or "The Notebook”  If your restaurant, bar, or cafe has TVS or projectors, throw on a romantic movie or TV show centered around love for Valentine's Day. Again, customers are looking for a memorable or out-of-the-box experience, and having a romantic classic in the background is a great conversation starter and vibe. 

18. Leverage delivery promotions: With Valentine's Day approaching, restaurants have a prime opportunity to offer special promotions to customers who opt to stay in on Valentine’s day. So why not run a contest for the most romantic at-home date night ideas, and encourage customers to share their experiences on social media while tagging the restaurant? 

With only 43% of people dining out last year, it's important to focus on delivery promotions to provide a memorable holiday experience for those staying in. By utilizing third-party delivery apps, restaurants can reach a wider audience and offer a unique and budget-friendly way to celebrate the day of love. If you’re wondering where you’ll find the time to get promotions up and running, we got you covered. Check out Otter's marketing solution, Promotions to automatically create, run, and optimize your restaurant’s in-app promos on delivery apps. 

We hope these creative Valentine's Day promotion ideas will help you make a memorable and profitable holiday for your restaurant or bar. Feel free to get creative and tailor these ideas to your business's unique needs and personality. Happy Valentine's Day!

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