Valentine’s Day Promotions for Bars
Love it or love to hate it, Valentine’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to generate sales and attract new customers to your bar or restaurant. Valentine’s Day promotions are key to capitalizing on this sales opportunity. A unique event idea, paired with effective marketing, can lead to a lot of V-day sales. Read on and watch the webinar for the best Valentine’s Day promotion ideas for bars and restaurants. Whether it’s the cute couple out on the town or a group of single ladies looking to party, people love to live it up on V-day! According to a recent study by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 61.8% of consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day, 34.6% of those who celebrate go out and consumers spend a whopping $13.19 billion each year.
Event Promotion Ideas
Pick Your Audience
When planning a great Valentine’s Day event, you first need to pick your audience. You can’t please everyone, so you need to select the demographic that best fits your business goals. Think about the types of customers you already serve, or a market you’re looking to expand into. Some options include:
- Ladies — the “Galentine’s Day” crowd
- Singles looking to mingle
- Anti-establishment Valentine’s Day haters
Create a Memorable Event
Once you’ve picked your audience, you need to come up with a memorable event. Valentine’s Day is a very popular holiday with a lot going on, and you need to stand out from the crowd to compete. Many Valentine’s Day events (think basic prix fixe dinners, wine nights, etc.) are very similar. This means people won’t attend unless they already love your bar or restaurant. Some unique event ideas include:
- Take your audience to a dream vacation destination, whether it’s Maui, Paris or Bangkok. Pick music, food and decorations that create a relaxed, vacation vibe and really transport people to that destination.
- Draw your inspiration from popular TV shows. What about a Game of Thrones-themed dinner or a comic spin on The Office with Jim and Pam-themed desserts?
Tap into Trends
- Female empowerment is big right now. Highlight your award-winning female chef or feature a menu with beer pairings from female brewers.
- Wellness and self care are also a hot topic. What about throwing a “love yourself” brunch that features farm-fresh, and not too sinful, foods and kombucha cocktails? You could even tack on a yoga class or meditation session.
- Many 20- and 30-somethings think of themselves as “pup parents.” Host an event for fur babies that includes whipped cream treats for dogs, donations to a local shelter and a photo booth for a pup-parent shoot.
Make it Active
- Leverage dating apps. You could host a Tinder meetup for singles with flame-grilled pizza (get it?) and generous drink specials.
- Host a class and tasting session on ciders or Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. If your bar has a good menu, consider hosting cooking classes. Atlanta establishment Rathbun’s Restaurant has found that this type of direct engagement with their customers fosters community and repeat business.
- Do a riff on the wine-and-paint night classic.
Sweeten the Deal
A deal or special is a great way to generate excitement about your Valentine’s Day event. This is particularly important if you want to draw in a new audience. What enticing special can you offer that will encourage people to tell their friends? Bear in mind that you can offer something for “free” even if you’re actually covering its cost in the package price. Consider freebies like wine pairings, a slice of chocolate cake, 2-for-1 deals or even a fireball shot.
Package deals are another great option. Tap into your local business network and find a partner that would appeal to your target audience. Consider partnering with a local hotel, movie theater or museum for the couples crowd, or make an event more active with a kickboxing studio or psychic.
Set the Mood
Changing up the environment at your bar or restaurant is very important for Valentine’s Day. You should always decorate your bar. If you choose to go a softer route, use dimmed mood lighting, and perhaps even a live jazz band. Revamp your lounge areas with plush pillows or candles. For an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” event, consider adding a fun photo booth or freebies like red, yellow or green stickers that guests can use to indicate their relationship status.
Whatever you choose, make sure you market it. Evergreen offers different ways to promote events, including a social media post composer and notifying followers on the TapHunter app. Evergreen’s web widget also automatically updates your website when you add a new event. Boosting a Facebook post or running an ad are other great options.
How to Make a Facebook Event
Watch the webinar in this post for step-by-step instructions on setting up a great Facebook event, like this clever one from Evergreen customer, Wine Affairs. It’s as simple as clicking the event icon in Facebook’s posting box and adding a fun image, your event name and date, and other key details. Once your event is published, your followers can invite their friends and tell people they are going.
How to Boost a Facebook Post or Event
If your goal is attracting new customers on Valentine’s Day, you will likely need to spend some money to promote your event on Facebook. This can be as little as $50 or so. The easiest option is to boost a post using Facebook’s user-friendly tool. Detailed, step-by-step instructions are included in the webinar in this post. The general guidelines involve clicking the blue BOOST POST button that appears at the bottom of a Facebook post (or event post). You’ll then see a screen that looks like the below. When promoting a post about an event, be sure to select an appropriate post button. We suggest Book Now with a link to a reservation page.
The other key piece of the set-up is selecting your audience. If you’ve selected a specific audience as suggested above, this should be simple. For example, if you are hosting a “love yourself” yoga brunch, you might narrow your audience to women aged 21-40 who also have expressed interest in either Health & wellness or Yoga. Use what you know about your customers to help you here!
Once you’ve chosen an action button, a link and an audience, then you simply need to set a budget. Facebook offers incredibly helpful guidance here. It will tell you how many people you can reach per day with different budget options. Simply pick the option that best fits your goals and budget!
Running a great Valentine’s Day promotion is a key way for bars and restaurants to boost sales and attract new customers. People like to spend money on Valentine’s Day, whether it’s with a partner, celebrating with friends or treating themselves. With a little planning, some creativity and some Facebook skills, you should have a fairly prosperous Valentine’s Day and weekend!