Valentine’s Day is fast approaching; February 14th is just a week on Friday.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day last year, it was predicted that loved-up Brits would boost retail sales by £978 million. Yep, that’s almost £1 billion!
That works out as an average spend of £119 per person. And in terms of global ranking, that places the UK joint 3rd with France. Asia takes the top spot, with an average spend of £173 per person, followed by Spain.
It’ll be no surprise that dinner ranks highly among the most popular purchases for Valentine’s Day. If you run or work in a restaurant, pub, cafe – let us know how you’re celebrating next week – tweet us @LondonBio.
Perhaps though you’re a bit behind with Valentine’s Day plans…January’s been hectic and you’ve been running around à la headless chicken. Or you’ve been hibernating, avoiding the floods. Whatever your excuse, don’t panic – there is still time to plan your restaurant/pub/cafe’s Valentine’s Day promotion. And here ares a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing!
Whether it’s in addition to, or in place of, your normal menu – or simply one extra ‘Valentine’s’ dish per course. See what others are doing on Twitter!
The big supermarkets are able to promote their inexpensive ‘dine in’ meal deals on a mass scale. To compete, you may want to consider online restaurant deal and booking services such as Square meal, Book A Table, Voucher Codes, Groupon etc.
Voucher Codes reported over 150,000 restaurant voucher downloads in the fortnight before Valentine’s Day 2012.
Whether for you that’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus…
Social media advertising is also an inexpensive way to reach a wider audience. Plus, with a bit of digging you can find free credit fairly easily – for example, £50 through the O2 and Twitter partnership. Just make sure you read the rules first, particularly with Facebook – avoid too much text in your image and take care with Facebook icons and jargon.
Use clear signs showing your website address and make your menu visible. If you’re handing out marketing materials, small business card-sized designs are more likely to make their way into someone’s pocket than a leaflet.
Many diners choose a familiar restaurant for Valentine’s Day, not wanting to gamble on somewhere new. And some return to the same restaurant every year out of tradition. So, if you’re not already, start promoting your plans inside your restaurant. And if you have a contacts database, send an email, inviting your customers to join you next week.
Plus think about offering a special breakfast and lunch!
This will help you manage demand, particularly the seating issue of accommodating so many two-person parties if you’re used to parties of four or more. It’ll also gives diners more flexibility:
- Valentine’s Day does fall on a Friday this year but for couples with children for example, Saturday might present a better option.
- Offering a Valentine’s Day breakfast and lunch might suit those on a budget.
- Anyone worried about an overcrowded couple-filled restaurant might avoid dining out on the day itself… And you might even want to think about a ‘singles’ or ‘anti-valentine’s’ offer.
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