Valentine's Day 2024: Ideas, tips, and discounts for restaurants

Published 02.13.2024 - Last update 02.14.2024
valentine's day couple
Table of contents
  1. Creating the perfect Valentine’s Day atmosphere
  2. Valentine’s Day Offers and Discounts

For one night in February, romance reigns supreme, as restaurants prepare to open their doors to couples on Valentine’s Day.

Whether it’s fine dining, somewhere cosy and local, or a yearly tradition – diners on Valentine’s Day are usually spoilt for choice when it comes to booking a romantic dinner. Customers are often ready to pull out all the stops for the perfect experience and spend big as a result – an opportunity that no restaurant on Valentine’s Day should miss.

For couples splashing out on fine dining, this might also be the only opportunity for restaurants to convert first-time diners into returning regulars. First impressions are critical, and the menu is only the start.

However, Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers – it can also be a celebration of friendship, family ties, and even self-love. Whatever form of love your diners choose to celebrate, people visiting your restaurant on Valentine’s Day are generally expecting a unique experience. 

Below, we’ve collated some of our best Valentine’s Day ideas, advice and tips on how restaurants can attract (and delight) more customers on Valentine’s Day in 2024.

Creating the perfect Valentine’s Day atmosphere

While your staff should always make customers feel welcome, this is even more important on Valentine’s Day. Your diners are relying on you to make their celebration memorable, and this starts with how you make them feel the minute they walk in the door. The idea is to make people feel extra special; instruct the host and all dining room staff to greet customers warmly and avoid anything that might spoil the evening’s natural romance. Polite and efficient service is critical but ensure to give the couple plenty of space – they’ve come to speak and eat with each other, not the staff.

Giving each party a flower (carnations are pretty, inexpensive, and last a long time) before showing them to their table, is just one idea for going above and beyond on Feb. 14th. Naturally, depending on your restaurant’s specific aesthetic, you could consider decorating the entrance in some way to usher your clients into the Valentine’s spirit: this could involve a literal swathe of red carpet, or red curtains, a tasteful flower wreath on the door, or any other seasonal decorations.

Be sure that staff have been instructed to show guests to their table as quickly and discreetly as possible. In the case that any customers should have to wait to be seated, be sure to usher them into a spot where they can wait comfortably and offer them a complimentary drink of their choice. Leave sufficient time between two meal services, to avoid diners feeling rushed or uncomfortable.

Once the guests are seated, consider providing a complimentary glass of prosecco or an amuse-bouche. The positive impression of these small actions can set you up for success before diners have even seen the menu – remember, this may be the only opportunity to turn these customers into returning regulars.

Romantic couple in restaurant

Valentine’s Day Offers and Discounts

Although diners are often willing to increase their average spend in your restaurant on Valentine’s Day, they still want to get value for their money. Valentine’s Day offers and discounts promoted by your restaurants can help you attract not only more customers but also new customers outside of your regular target market, to whom luxury dining would normally be financially inaccessible.

While a flat discount across bookings can be effective, there are more subtle ways of maximising your restaurant’s offers and discounts for better commercial impact and more potential diners. Encourage early, off-peak reservations by offering a small discount for the couples who think ahead and are willing to eat earlier – or even decide on a romantic Valentine’s Day lunch instead.

Smaller groups of diners on Valentine’s Day can result in more covers, more admin and therefore more work for your staff. Offering specialised discounts for double-dates (or even triple-dates!) can help increase booking party size and double the average spend of covers.

Valentine's Day presents a prime, once-a-year opportunity for restaurants to showcase their commitment to hospitality and quality dining, and leave a lasting impression of your restaurant that lingers far beyond the night itself.

Discover Valentine’s Day restaurants on TheFork here or read more of our restaurant marketing tips.

Table of contents
  1. Creating the perfect Valentine’s Day atmosphere
  2. Valentine’s Day Offers and Discounts
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