Valentine’s Day is a huge revenue generator for many restaurants. According to a 2023 study, 85% of adults planned to celebrate the holiday, and of those, 74% planned to dine out or order takeout.

It’s important to have a solid plan for the holiday, which takes place on Wednesday, February 14th. Because Valentine’s Day is during the middle of the week, it’s also wise to consider the weekends before and after, as many couples will likely choose to celebrate then. Here are some ways to engage couples looking for a special way to celebrate the holiday.

Healthy Couples, Healthy Food

While we may tend to think about heavy or luxurious dishes on Valentine’s Day, one refreshing approach is to center heart-healthy foods on your menu, that don’t compromise on flavor. Consider wholesome options such as salmon, avocados, and legumes like lentils and chickpeas.

Bay Winds® Sockeye Salmon is wild caught in Alaska and naturally rich in omega-3s. Or, give the Contigo® avocado line a try. The avocado halves are sourced for kitchen convenience and a longer shelf life. Add chunky fresh avocado, ideal for handmade-style guacamole and avocado toast, as a topping for sandwiches and salads. You could also utilize avocado pulp as a go-to for smooth dressings, dips, and sauces.

A heart healthy prix fixe menu that includes an appetizer, entrees, and shared dessert is a romantic way to feature items, too. Use superfoods like dark, leafy greens as a starter or salad and end the meal with plenty of fresh berries and dark chocolate. Consider mains that include lean proteins or, for vegan and vegetarian options, mushrooms.

Take the Love Home

Don’t forget the guests who plan to order takeout or delivery. If possible, design a menu that works well both in-house and off-site. Optimize your online menu to suggest Valentine’s upgrades like beverages (alcoholic and non), love-ly swag, and chocolate truffles. Consider linking to a love-themed playlist. Package your Valentine’s meals in a special way so that off-site guests have a memorable experience at home.

Share the Love

Valentine’s Day is all about the heart, and February is National Heart Health Month, which gives you a full 29 days (it’s a leap year!) to drive traffic around this topic. Here are some ideas:

  • Consider offering a discount for guests who wear red during the month of February (or narrow it down to Wear Red Day, which is February 2nd).
  • Enter your servers in a “Steps” contest. Servers walk a ton during a typical service, so use step trackers to see who takes the most steps and offer a prize at the end of the month.
  • Create a heart-healthy dish or menu with a give-back component to support an organization like the American Heart Association or the Children’s Heart Foundation. Call out the give-back on your menu, on social media, and in your newsletter to spread awareness about causes that matter to your business and employees.

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