On Valentine’s Day, many couples will treat themselves to an exquisite dinner as a way of reconnecting with their relationship. Typically, the couple will select an aspirational restaurant — one they rarely dine at except to mark special occasions. For restaurant owners, this sudden lift in foot traffic and table reservations can be a windfall. Valentine’s Day typically marks the second-busiest day of the year for American restaurants. In 2017, the average couple spent $170.53. But many diners do not return to their chosen restaurant until next February 14th. Restaurant owners therefore pass up on huge opportunities during Valentine’s Day to retain customers and have them dine again throughout the year. With a few creative marketing tactics, which could be funded with the help of restaurant financing companies, these owners could dramatically increase the lifetime customer value of their V-Day diners. To start making more money all year round from aspirational diners, consider using the following marketing tactics this Valentine’s Day.
To the average restaurateur, providing some sort of perk for dining at their business on Valentine’s Day may sound ludicrous. Why give people an incentive to come to your restaurant when reservations often get booked up weeks in advance? What these business owners should realize is that their gift to diners is not a way to win their business on Valentine’s Day but rather every other day throughout the year. For instance, by offering a dining couple a free dessert on their next visit, you extend the experience of their wonderful Valentine’s meal to another meal that’s partially gratis. You also deepen their appreciation of their current experience. After all, the couple already planned on dining there, so receiving an incentive to return is a wonderfully unexpected surprise!
Getting diners on your email list is a surefire way to keep your restaurant at the top of their mind for the rest of the year. You can use their email to let them know about special events, such as wine tastings or unique dinner specials. You can also offer promotions through email as long as you think it fits with the value positioning of your restaurant.
Social media has become a hugely valuable repository for marketing data. For instance, a huge percentage of aspirational diners will likely commemorate their meal with a social media photo, and they will likely tag your restaurant in the photo when they upload it. Use these mentions to add occasional diners to your social following. Facebook and Instagram are likely the best places to monitor for mentions, but don’t overlook Twitter or even Snapchat! You can use lists of diners who mention your restaurant to serve paid social “boosted post” or ad campaigns. They will see content that can remind them about how great your menu is and tempt them to return well before next February!
Another great way to tempt return visitors is to promise them a new experience when they come back. For example, you can plan to renovate your dining room to be more luxurious. Or, you could upgrade your décor to fit a stronger theme that helps your restaurant stick out in people’s minds. ARF Financial can help you secure the restaurant financing you need to make these improvements with flexible arrangements and low fixed rates. You can find out if you qualify for advantageous restaurant loan products without having to submit extensive documentation or offer collateral. Simply click here to receive your free, no obligation quote in as little as 48 hours.