Roses are red and violets are blue, we're excited for V-Day, how about you? Ok, so we're not poets by any means, but we do know that Valentine's Day is one of the biggest events of the year for restauranteurs and hoteliers alike. Lovebirds are expected to splash out close to US$24 billion in the United States alone this year - and they aren't even the biggest spenders, according to a study by Statista.
Read on for more facts about February 14 celebrations that will set your heart aflutter.
Valentine's Day is the most popular holiday to get engaged
... and why not declare your eternal love on a day dedicated to it? Millennials in particular are more keen to pop the question on February 14, and more men than women think it's the best time of year to propose.
What does this mean for the hospitality sector?
Well, for starters - really pump up the romance factor of your venue. Set your sights on winning over the gents rather than the ladies; if it's the boys doing the proposing, they're likely the ones choosing a venue for the big night... and traditionally they'd be the ones paying, too.
Millennials are the big spenders
... and the longer you've been in a relationship, the less likely you are to splash out big cash on Valentine's Day. Millennials (born between 1981-1996) spend on average 40% more than baby boomers (born around 1946-1964).
Millennials also consider forking out on big V-Day gestures - which could include romantic dinners and luxurious getaways - to be more important than any other generation. A considerable portion of the GCC's population falls within the Millennial age-range, which makes them a solid (and potentially more lucrative) group to target at this time of year.
Good customer service is more important than ever
When you're out celebrating with the love of your life, you want everything to be perfect. Even the smallest negative experience could create an unexpectedly large negative impact on February 14 - which could mean losing customers, even those who were repeat visitors in the past.
This puts more pressure on restaurant and hotel staff to make sure everything is exactly right, and increases the need for super-slick remedies should as much as the tiniest blip happen. Go overboard in making sure your customers have the night of their dreams with the person of their dreams, and you'll win their hearts as well as their loyalty.
Oh, and don't forget about your staff and colleagues, either. They're working one of the busiest, potentially most stressful times of the year, and missing out on spending time with their loved ones. Do something to make them feel extra-special, and you'll give them a much-deserved boost.
Happy staff make for happy customers!
It's not just where you eat but what you eat that matters
This one's probably a no-brainer, but most people want to eat romantic food in a romantic setting on Valentine's Day. French and Italian cuisine are naturally popular, given their associations with love. In the US, Spanish food, steakhouses, and wineries are also solid go-tos for couples in love.
Data from Foursquare suggests that even sushi is a good choice for a date, as sushi restaurants are described as 'romantic' and 'intimate' by both men and women. It's also a popular delivery choice for couples dining at home on Valentine's Day, especially if there are festive items to enjoy. Heart-shaped maki, anyone?
The same Foursquare data shows that cupcake shops and frozen yoghurt parlours are winners with the girls when it comes to casual outings with their beaus.
... what about aphrodisiacs?
It's probably no coincidence that many of the foods we associate with romantic meals are believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Chocolate, oysters, truffles (the savoury kind) and strawberries are top of the list, so incorporating them into your Valentine's Day offerings would likely draw attention. Some of the less commonly known foods to get you in the mood are watermelon, chilis, figs, arugula, artichokes and asparagus.
Last but by no means least, don't overlook Galentine's Day
February 13 is Galentine's Day - a celebration that honours the love between friends, especially girlfriends. It's not technically a new concept as friends and family have been celebrated on Valentine's Day in several cultures for many years, but it is becoming increasingly popular.
A lot of the focus is on happy couples on the big day itself, so a good way to stand out from the highly competitive crowd is to embrace an alternative approach.
Target non-romantic, loving relationships. Create a package especially for groups of friends, or even for parents and children to enjoy time together. Experiences are a major trend for the hospitality sector in 2022, and this is the perfect opportunity to create something truly memorable that will inspire customers to keep coming back for more.
Let’s get in touch!
We’d love to explore how we may be able to support you with your guest experience, so please reach out and someone from our team will be in touch shortly.
PO Box 393942, Dubai, UAE