As the world has emerged from covid, the restaurant industry has seen steady growth, with a defiant full recovery forecast by 2024. There’s plenty to be positive about and celebrating key occasions is a great way to bring guests into your business and give them reasons to return again and again.
Of course, competition is fierce for restaurant bookings but bringing your own brand personality into your digital marketing will help guests bond with your business. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to create a fun, light-hearted and romantic campaign and here’s 8 ideas to get you started….
Plan for proposals!
Millions of people propose on Valentine’s Day and are looking for ways to make it extra-special. Let people know on social media that they’re welcome to slide into your DMs for help making the perfect proposal in your restaurant.
Valentine’s dishes & drinks
Speak to your kitchen and bar manager about the possibility of creating a special Valentine’s menu, dish or cocktail that will be exclusive to Valentine’s Day. Give it a romantic name or better yet, come up with a handful of ideas and ask your customers to vote for their favourite to help you decide.
If you want to personalise it even more, run a competition across your marketing channels where one person gets to have a dish / drink made just for them (also perfect for that special proposal).
Create a photo opportunity
Help your guests help you by setting up a Valentine’s themed area where they can take loved-up photographs and share them on social media. Think about creating an Instagrammable wall of flowers or hearts and provide props to make it extra fun. Make sure the lighting in the area is good and keep a member of restaurant staff on hand to help take pictures.
Make your social channels clearly visible and encourage guests to tag you in their photos (a competition might help). Re-share all content and post the pictures throughout the night and over the following days to keep the conversation going.
A rose for a rose
Offer single stem roses as guests enter and talk about this on your social channels in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. People appreciate extras and gifts and are more likely to mention brands that go the extra mile.
It’s a great offering for couple who don’t want to buy a whole bunch of flowers for eco reasons as well as those who simply forgot to buy flowers! Make sure you have something on each table that clearly signposts to your social channels.
Contact local media
Your local newspapers and radio will likely put together a round-up of Valentine’s events so don’t be shy about contacting them. Mention the unique elements of your restaurant’s Valentine’s Day offering as this will set you apart from your competitors.
Track and evaluate your marketing activity
There’s no point in putting all this work in if you’re not tracking your Valentine’s digital marketing activity. This will help you see what worked best and secured bookings and plan for next year.
Track your traffic using this UTM builder and you’ll have access to detail on which channels were most effective and even drill down to specific posts on specific dates.
Give extra love to your regulars
Offer your regulars the first opportunity to book for Valentine’s Day. Use your email database to contact subscribers with a pre-booking opportunity and show them how special they are. Give your social media followers a chance to sign-up to your newsletter before pre-booking opens – it’s a good opportunity to grow your database.
Run a competition
A recent study by EasyPromos revealed that Facebook giveaways generate 1,000% more interactions than normal posts and Instagram accounts that run competitions grow 70% faster than those who don’t.
Competitions on social media are an effective method for increasing bookings – whether it’s a simple gift card for the winner or dinner for 2 at the best table (with free drinks). Don’t forget to clearly outline the terms and conditions.
Want to know even more about Valentine’s Day marketing for restaurants?
If you’re excited by the Valentine’s Day digital marketing ideas above but struggling for time to implement them – get in touch and we can help. We’ve worked with a vast range of hospitality brands in the UK to bolster their digital marketing, from All Bar One and Miller & Carter to Wadworth and Vintage Inns. We’d LOVE to put some ideas together for your business.