Every restaurant in town runs a special Valentine’s Day menu – so what can you do to stand out?
Upserve and 7shifts’ data teams pulled the numbers on Valentine’s Day’s most ordered items, table turn times, ticket sales, staffing trends, and more to help you better prepare for this restaurant-centric holiday. Understanding what guests are looking for in a Valentine’s Day experience will help you craft the perfect menu, bring in more guests, and make them fall in love with your business.
Valentine’s Day Restaurant Menu Ideas
Diners want to pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day – on average, ticket sales go up 65%. Offer them the treat yo’ self meals they’re looking for by serving up something special.
- Lobster and steak dishes: It may seem cliche, but sales of these two items go up 78% and 62% respectively on Valentine’s Day.
- Heart-shaped pizzas: Get cute and casual by offering a themed version of everyone’s favorite food.
- Pasta in pink vodka sauce: It’s delicious, simple, and color-coordinated with Valentine’s Day.
- Oyster specials: What better way to splurge on your celebration than sharing a dozen oysters?
- Dessert specials: Guests are 50% more likely to order dessert on Valentine’s Day, so give them enough options to choose from. Red velvet cake, strawberry ice cream, and anything chocolate are all classics.
Download our free Valentine’s Day ebook to see the most-ordered Valentine’s Day menu items in your area.
Valentine’s Day Reservations and Sales
No matter the location, restaurant sales increased on Valentine’s Day by 65% on average across the country, so make sure you’re well-staffed and ready for the rush. (Valentine’s Day 2019 had 147% more time-off requests compared with the average Thursday, so planning ahead is key!)
Reservations increase by 72% overall on Valentine’s Day. Here’s how the numbers break down in some of our favorite foodie cities.
Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Restaurant
What can you do to stand out on this romantic reservation occasion? Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
1. Partner with other businesses to create an all-day experience
Take the headache out of planning Valentine’s Day for your guests by partnering with some local businesses to create a package deal, like dinner and a couples massage at the local spa.
2. Create a proposal package
What better day than Valentine’s to pop the big question? Offer a deal that includes a complimentary bouquet of flowers or champagne toast, or hire a photographer to be on-hand to capture the moment for the happy couple.
3. Expand your revenue with special takeout options
Some guests prefer a quiet Valentine’s Day at home. Cover the cooking for them by offering buy-one-get-one entrees, a free dessert with two entrees ordered, or a special pre-packaged three-course meal.
4. Drive Valentine’s Day restaurant reservations with a prix fixe menu
Some people just want to kick back, relax, and have the decisions made for them. Offer a classic prix fixe with a wine pairing option or go restaurant week style and give guests two or three options to choose from in each course.
5. Offer early-bird reservation specials
The more reservations you have ahead of time, the better you can prepare for this busy restaurant holiday. To encourage guests not to wait until the last minute, offer a check discount, free dessert, or complimentary glass of wine or beer to guests who book their reservations at least a week in advance.
Download our free ebook for more marketing tips and to see examples of restaurants that do Valentine’s Day right.