Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Friday and will attract a variety of guests, both couples and singles, who are willing to spend a little extra in the name of love. This is a great opportunity for pubs to maximise trade by paying homage to Saint Valentine. However, as guests’ expectations grow higher, how can pubs ensure they perfect their Valentine’s Day offer?
Read our top tips below!
Create a Special Menu
Many guests will be looking to treat themselves to an indulgent Valentine’s Day meal, which provides pubs with a great upgrade opportunity. As guests are often willing to spend a little extra on Valentine’s Day, pubs can offer more premium ‘showcase’ dishes so that guests are left keen to try the regular menu. Pubs may want to update their specials board with Valentine’s Day themed dishes and add-on plates, or a set menu, at a set price, can be more beneficial to guarantee spend per head. Plates that can be shared, particularly desserts, are often well received.
Perfect a Premium Drinks List
Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to up-sell on drinks for guests who are either dining or just popping in for a drink. Sparkling wine, such as Prosecco, Cava or Champagne is likely to be a popular choice for guests; according to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), the UK’s sparkling wine trade has enjoyed rapid growth in the last five years. Upgrade opportunities for drinks could be extended for the whole of February, by selecting a Valentine’s Day inspired ‘wine of the month’. Although fizz is usually associated with special occasions, it is clear from recent trends that this is now a drink enjoyed all year round. Therefore, pubs can look at ways to enhance this premium serve and discover opportunities in other key categories, such as gin.
Discount deals have long been used for driving business to a brand. When planned carefully, discount offers can be a great way to drive footfall into a pub. However, if used too often, guests will begin to expect a discount each time they visit which can devalue the overall pub offer. Money-off deals tend to work better during slower trading periods when pubs are generally quieter e.g. mid-week, or January.
On Valentine’s Day, pubs are more likely to experience greater footfall without having to offer a discount. Therefore, a value-adding promotion, such as gifting, is a great way to give guests something extra special and create a USP. Consider creating a packaged gift box of carefully selected drinks or partnering with local businesses. For example, partnering with a local chocolate supplier could provide a gift for guests as well as giving exposure to the partnered company.
Planning an integrated marketing campaign can help to combine the use of digital and traditional media, to effectively deliver a Valentine’s Day offer. Pubs can start by listing the communication channels they already use e.g. posters, flyers, A-boards, website, social media etc. Think about the Valentine’s Day message to be communicated to guests and ensure a consistent message, tone of voice, and visual representation across all channels. Pubs may consider working with a design agency to create a bank of Valentine’s Day themed artwork, with the message and call to action displayed appropriately for each channel.