Eating out on Valentine’s Day: Which restaurants do Americans love most for a romantic night out?

When you think of eating out on Valentine’s Day, your first thought might be of making early reservations and fighting crowds. But, despite the holiday’s reputation as a night to treat the special person in your life to a nice meal out, the average local restaurant brings in about $1,440 of revenue on Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine’s Day might bring a 13% bump for local restaurants around the country, but it ranks as only the 120th biggest day of the year. When compared to one of the biggest days of the year (Mother’s Day), it’s clear Valentine’s Day isn’t the restaurant powerhouse you might think.

Of course, you’ve likely experienced a long wait or trouble booking reservations on Valentine’s Day. Which got us wondering—what types of restaurants do best on Valentine’s Day, and which ones struggle to make the connection to romance? So we took a closer look at the data from 42,000 small, local restaurants across the country and made some fascinating discoveries. (Note: these do not include fast food or quick

The busiest restaurants on Valentine’s Day—Fish, fine dining, and international flair

While Valentine’s Day might only be the 120th day for all local restaurants, several types of restaurants saw their biggest days of the year on February 14th. Some categories were what you might expect—Fine Dining restaurants unsurprisingly rely heavily on Valentine’s Day, with the average location pulling in over 200% more in revenue than the typical day.

Other categories, meanwhile, stood out as romantic hot spots many might not expect. Thai food restaurants, for example, saw Valentine’s Day bring in more average revenue than any other day of the year. With a decent mix of restaurants ranging from upscale to casual, there is still a clear pattern in the types of restaurants most Americans consider worthy of a romantic evening for two.

The slowest restaurants on Valentine’s Day—Not a big day for old standards or venturing out of comfort zones

Outside of the high performers above, most restaurants see slightly above-average revenue come in on Valentine’s Day. The good news for the lower performing restaurants is that Valentine’s Day isn’t really a “bust,” but it’s clear that some restaurants struggle more than others to attract patrons looking to celebrate love.

Burgers and fries may be an American staple on many days of the year, but burger joints bring in 4% less revenue than the average day on Valentine’s Day, making it their 219th biggest day of the year.

And while Americans seem to love celebrating with popular international standards like Sushi and Thai, most save trying new and unique cuisines for another night.

Get the most out of Valentine’s Day (and every day) with reputation management software

If you own or manage a small, local restaurant, you likely already know how big or small Valentine’s Day is for you and your business. And it’s crucial to approach those big days with a sound marketing strategy.

For example, if Valentine’s Day is sure to draw a big crowd to your restaurant every year, you can use that increased foot traffic to get more reviews for your restaurant.

If, however, your restaurant isn’t really a romantic hot-spot, a small business CRM can help you know your customers well enough to know which of your customers would be most receptive to some creative email marketing to draw them in on a night where other restaurants might be too busy.

Womply’s reputation management software was built specifically for local restaurants. Fill out the form below to take a free demo and see how Womply can help your restaurant do more today!

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