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Top 16 Valentine’s Day Promotion Ideas for Restaurants

January 23, 2024 9 min
Senior Content Manager at Eat App
Reviewed by
Co-founder and CEO of Eat App

Valentine's Day is expected to be one of your busiest days ever, with 49% of customers likely to dine at a restaurant, while 25% plan to order takeaways. According to ongoing trends, this International Day of Love will continue to grow in 2024.

So now is the perfect moment to leverage on- and off-premise revenue by creating exceptional Valentine's Day specials and dining experiences.

Here are 16 unique and romantic Valentine's Day promotion ideas for restaurants to attract diners and make your business stand out.

1. Put together a unique Valentine’s Day menu 

Your restaurant has a great chance to craft memorable moments and original prix fixe menu items to entice couples looking for something a little more inventive.

For example, to commemorate Valentine's Day, Aqua Shard has prepared a delightful variety of specially handpicked dishes.

Perfectly situated on The Shard's thirty-first story, couples can take in the breathtaking London skyline while enjoying a sumptuous six-course romantic dinner together.

Roses and a box of Aqua Shard's Valentine chocolate boxes are additional treats you can give your loved one.

Valentine's Day Restaurant Menu

2. Create a special “blind date” event

The majority of people might not be in a relationship, and Valentine’s Day can sometimes be a reminder that they haven’t found love yet.

While most restaurants will leverage promoting unique offerings to couples, why not try and cater to non-couples?  

Here’s a few ideas on how you can do this:

  • Matchmaking Mystery: Partner with a local dating app or service to pre-curate compatible couples based on shared interests, dietary needs, and preferred dining atmospheres.

  • Sensory Surprise: Blindfold couples upon arrival, guiding them through an immersive pre-dinner experience – aromas of aphrodisiac scents, romantic music selections, and tactile textures.

  • Blind Menu & Conversation: Present a mystery menu, only revealing the dishes after each course, encouraging conversation and discovery. Include fun conversation starters on cards.

  • Optional Upgrade: Offer an add-on package with personalized messages and photos exchanged beforehand, or a post-dinner scavenger hunt for a sweet Valentine's Day surprise.

Pro tip: To avoid potential no-shows and lose out on valuable revenue, use a reservation system to help set up upfront payments for special events like these.

Want to know more about upfront payments? 

Request a demo today

Create a special “blind date” event

3. Give your loyal guests early bird access

The first audience you invite to your dinner table should be your most valuable and frequent customers, whether through calling, emailing, or sending an email to trigger a promotion.

This is the reason why: The cost to acquire a new guest is seven times more than the cost to keep an existing one. You'll waste more time attempting to persuade a new guest to try you out than you would trying to re-engage a previous guest—Valentine's Day is busy enough.

Utilize the email addresses of every diner who has visited you in the previous six months to try a low-cost advertising campaign. Using emotionally charged, "urgency" wording in your advertisement—for example, "Have dinner plans for Valentine's Day?"—will increase bookings.

Pro tip: Valentine's Day is probably the busiest day of the year for your restaurant in terms of the number of couples dining in. Update your restaurant's reservation floor plan to include extra two-top tables before February 14th.

4. Make your dishes more romantic

Add some flair to what's already on your menu. Simply pour some chocolate or caramel over a dessert with a "love" theme, or arrange an appetizer, entree, or dessert into a heart shape.

When placing online orders, use creativity as well. Incorporate a heart-shaped icon into your logo or provide pink and red containers to match the theme to wow guests with personalized to-go packaging.

But to carry out this marketing strategy effectively, you'll need to plan.

Request that your chef prepare a meal with a heart theme for you to use as an image in your guest-facing marketing materials in January.

5. Link on a customized Valentine’s Day booking widget

Forget the usual booking forms and make your restaurant’s booking widget a romantic spot.

Choose pretty reds, soft pinks, and shiny gold to create a romantic vibe. Add sweet animations, cute Valentine's symbols, and even a personal message to set a loving mood.

Pro tip: Reservation software like Eat App offers an easy-to-use setup that allows you to fully customize your booking widget to fit the theme of the special day or event, i.e. Valentine’s Day. You will be able to customize your restaurant’s Events, Tickets, and Seating Options.

6. Personalize your email marketing

When a customer's inbox is overflowing with generic Valentine's Day “deals” from other companies, they appreciate when other restaurants send them really personalized emails.

Differentiate yourself from the crowd by focusing on a smaller group of people and communicating with them in a way that seems more specialized.

Let your VIPs know that a seat has been reserved "just for you." Speak to the visitor by name, if possible. A unique "Valentine's Day meal to go" offer could be used to target your regular takeaway customers.

The restaurant Table Table, located in Yorkshire, provided the following example of a personalized email:

The restaurant Table Table, located in Yorkshire, provided the following example of a personalized email

7. Get clever with your prix fixe menu

There are other ways to add flair to the mundane besides pictures. Make the most of the holiday by including words on your menu that will make your guests grin.

One restaurant's menu, which we discovered, labeled the first course, second course, dessert, and appetizers as the wooing, rapture, first kiss, and sweet surrender phases of a relationship.

Additionally, it divided its selection of desserts into "7 deadly sins for two."

There are countless puns for Valentine's Day.

Here are some delicious food-themed puns for your menu:

  • You're the spice of my life.
  • Our love is berry special.
  • I'm soy into you.
  • Olive you forever.
  • You've stolen a pizza my heart.
  • You're the main course in my menu of love.
  • We're a perfect blend, just like our coffee.
  • You're the cherry on top of my sundae.
  • You're my butter half.
  • Our love is like a fine wine – it gets better with time.

The extra special menu options will be appreciated by your guests, who will keep your name in mind the next time they're shopping for takeaway.

8. Offer freebies and advertise them in advance

Give a gift that is less expensive for you than the "surprise & delight" value it offers your visitors to make them feel more special. (Keep in mind that providing unique experiences is what prompts 60% of return visits.)

Here are some suggestions for Valentine's Day gift marketing ideas:

  • Provide a free dessert
  • Give each departing guest free chocolates
  • Serve a customized welcome cocktail or prosecco flute to visitors

Your operating budget doesn't have to go up for this kind of marketing promotion.

Simple changes made to what you already offer, such as preparing dinner rolls in the shape of hearts, might feel just as special.

9. Provide upgrades while making a reservation online

Upgrades are available while making an online reservation.

Prior to customers even being on-site, upgrades offered at the time of booking make it simpler for you to collect extra money. Aside from adding anticipation and lowering the possibility of a cancellation or no-show, it also enables guests to personalize their experience in advance.

Restaurant owners can quickly set this up on their reservation widget and integrate it with payment processors like Stripe using several systems for restaurant reservations, like Eat App.

Presenting your venue's capabilities is important since visitors are looking for ways to make the romantic evening extra special at this point.

10. Give menus that guests can prepare at home

Offer dishes that people can make at home and take to-go for individuals or friend groups who would rather spend a "cozy romantic evening in."

Select foods that are very convenient to transport or that allow guests to give the final touch, such as a chocolate cake that only requires ten minutes in the oven.

For the meal to truly be an experience, you can also think about including value-added goods.

Check out this amazing Valentine's Day to-go meal from Grand Army, which featured a DIY dinner kit for two features six cleaned and ready-to-shuck Blue Point oysters with a side of lemon and mignonette (along with an oyster knife bearing the Grand Army brand); six littleneck clams, ready to be opened and assembled with habanero, cilantro and nuoc cham; six pieces of prawn cocktail with cocktail sauce and herb aioli; a kit of spicy rigatoni and a chocolate cremeux to share with strawberries.

11. Provide an option for kids

Spread love and organize a family celebration.

  • Offer a free kid's meal with any adult meal purchase.
  • Create a special kids menu.
  • Choose a simple yet delicious option like grilled cheese and fries, chicken nuggets with applesauce, or a pasta dish.
  • Make it even more special by including a small toy or activity sheet with the kid's meal.

This can be a great way to attract families and create a welcoming atmosphere for everyone.

12. Collaborate with a chocolatier for a romantic night

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, by offering a sweet treat. In addition to the fact that most people enjoy candy, working with a nearby company can strengthen your guests' sense of community.

Giving chocolate from a local brand to dine guests on Valentine's Day serves as a gentle reminder to them of your shared history.

In the restaurant industry, where sustaining brand loyalty is challenging, every form of camaraderie becomes invaluable.

13. Make your reservation options known to local media

Make the most of every platform at your disposal to draw in new customers to your location.

By starting your own PR company, you can spread the word to the general public in your local area.

For example, a restaurant in New York City may get in touch with websites like Grubstreet and Thrillist to offer their Valentine's Day menus for takeaway or dining in.

Googling "[city name] reservations + Valentine's Day + 2023" can reveal which publications are most likely to highlight eateries on Valentine's Day. You can also see who covered what the previous year.

It's worth contacting them since you can bet they're going to follow suit for 2024.

Here are some ways to rewrite the email template for 2024:

Subject Line:

  • Spicing Up V-Day Dinners? Add [Restaurant Name] to Your 2024 List!
  • Unforgettable Romance Awaits: Why [Restaurant Name] is This Year's V-Day MVP
  • Beyond Chocolates & Roses: Elevate Your Valentine's Night with [Restaurant Name]

Email Body:


  • Replace "previously covered" with a specific reference to their past Valentine's Day content, if you have that information. (e.g., "Your Valentine's Day guide last year was spot-on! This year, I wanted to bring [Restaurant Name] to your attention...")
  • Mention any relevant updates or new offerings your restaurant has for 2024.

Reasons to Feature:

  • Focus on 2024-specific offerings or themes: Is your Valentine's Day menu inspired by a particular region or culinary trend? Highlight it!
  • Go beyond just food: Showcase unique cocktails, special music performances, or romantic decor to set your restaurant apart.
  • Emphasize experiences: Instead of just listing dishes, describe the sensory or emotional experience guests can expect at your restaurant.

Additional Tips:

  • Briefly touch on current dining trends like outdoor seating or private dining options, if relevant.
  • Personalize the tone based on the critic's writing style and the restaurant's overall vibe.
  • Keep the email concise and visually appealing with bullet points and clear formatting.
  • Offer exclusive access or a special Valentine's Day tasting menu for the critic to further incentivize a visit.

Optional "Best for Guests" Description:

  • Get creative! Use wordplay, humor, or relatable scenarios to paint a picture.
  • Consider pairing "romantic" with another descriptor like "adventurous foodies," "budget-conscious lovebirds," or "intimate celebrations."
  • Remember, keep it relevant to your restaurant's offerings and target audience.

By incorporating these suggestions and adding your creative touch, you can craft a compelling email that grabs the critic's attention and increases your chances of being featured in their Valentine's Day guide.

14. Create a unique landing page

It might be worthwhile to make the effort to make sure your menu, links for online ordering, and online reservation processes are all in one location if you have the marketing resources to build a landing page just for Valentine's Day on your website.

It also facilitates your guests' ordering and booking process. Check out Hevel's method below.

V-day Landing Page for Restaurants

This landing page is effective whether you manage several establishments or are a stand-alone eatery because it provides all the information visitors require to make a reservation.

Pro tip: Add the keyword "valentines day restaurant" or “valentine’s day promotions” + "[your city]" to your page title, URL, alt image tags for any photos, and at least one H1 headline. When visitors in your city look for Valentine's Day restaurant bookings, this will improve your SEO.

15. Keep the flame burning after Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is just one day, but keeping the love alive and bookings overflowing should happen all year. To make sure that romantic feeling sticks around, try these ideas to keep lovebirds coming back to your place:

Special Valentine’s Day Restaurant Promotions for Second Dates:

  • Give couples who dined with you on Valentine's Day a buy-one-get-one-free deal on entrees or drinks.
  • Offer a "Second Chance Savings" – a discount on their next visit within the next two weeks.
  • Have a "Blind Date Bonus" – a discounted fixed prox fixe menu for couples who book a blind date through your platform.

Lovebirds Loyalty Rewards:

Start a "Lovebirds Loyalty Program" to keep the romance alive:

  • Reward couples who often dine together with "Date Night Points."
  • Points could mean perks like early reservations, free appetizers, desserts, or upgrades to better seating.
  • Give personalized surprises for anniversaries or birthdays.
  • Create different reward levels for frequent visits, like free bottles of wine, spa treatments, or weekend getaways for big spenders.

"Love is in the Air" Contests:

  • Host contests every month or quarter for romantic prizes.
  • Prizes could include couples massages, private dinners, or weekend getaways for loyalty program members.

Keep the warm, fuzzy feelings going after Valentine's Day dinner, and you can turn short meet-ups into long-lasting relationships.

This way, you'll have loyal customers sticking around.

16. Create a romantic atmosphere

Valentine's Day is a fantastic time to change the ambiance of your restaurant.

Several concepts could be:

  • Reduce the illumination just a little bit to a romantic but secure level.
  • Arrange flowers or candles on the tables.
  • Turn on your sound system and play romantic music.
  • Hang holiday-themed décor in the main spaces.
  • Make sure the front-of-house crew is appropriately attired.
  • Your visitors will remember the mood more than the food and drink if you create a more intimate setting.

Restaurant Valentine's Day Ideas


Valentine's Day is a golden opportunity for restaurants to spark romance, delight customers, and boost their bottom line. With these 16 unique and delicious restaurant promotion ideas, you can transform your restaurant into a haven for lovebirds, attract new guests, and solidify your place as the go-to destination for unforgettable romantic experiences.

Remember, the key is to think beyond the ordinary. Infuse your restaurant’s Valentine's Day offerings with creativity, passion, and a touch of personal flair.

From delectable prix fixe menus and charming decor to thoughtful freebies and loyalty programs, every detail can contribute to an atmosphere that whispers "romance" and leaves a lasting impression on your guests.



Senior Content Manager at Eat App

Elana Kroon used to work in restaurants before becoming a journalist and expert restaurant industry content creator at Eat App.

Reviewed by

Nezar Kadhem

Nezar Kadhem

Co-founder and CEO of Eat App

He is a regular speaker and panelist at industry events, contributing on topics such as digital transformation in the hospitality industry, revenue channel optimization and dine-in experience.

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