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For Restaurants, First Weekend In February Represents Rush Of Valentine’s Day Reservations

"Clearly communicate offerings on all channels as well – from OpenTable promo pages around the holiday to your profile page on OpenTable as well as Facebook, your website, and Twitter," advises OpenTable's Caroline Potter.

Valentine’s Day is almost too weeks out — but for restaurants hoping to attract romantic patrons the the time to drum up reservations is now, advises booking platform OpenTable.

Granted, Priceline-owned OpenTable has an inherent bias towards getting consumers and restaurants to use its reservation tools, but considering it can boast 24 million monthly users and 43,000 eateries, it does have data to back up its case.

According to 2017 Valentine’s Day dining data, OpenTable has seen that Valentine’s Day reservations are made on average 11 days in advance of the holiday. This marks Saturday, February 3rd as “ValenDine’s Day,” and makes this weekend the perfect time to book Valentine’s Day reservations.

OpenTable’s Valentine’s Day data also show:

  • 11:00 a.m. local time, 11 days in advance, was the most popular time on average to search for and book reservations for Valentine’s Day.
  • Italian topped the list as the most booked cuisine followed by American / Contemporary American and Steakhouse.
  • The most popular reservation time for Valentine’s Day was 7 p.m.
  • Almost 50 percent of reservations were booked via mobile.
  • Approximately 40 percent of reservations were booked in the week leading up to the holiday.

So what should individual restaurants do to capitalize on the reservation rush this weekend?

OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer Caroline Potter offered GeoMarketing her advice:

“Because imagery, specifically that found on social media, has become a driving force behind how diners discover restaurants, restaurateurs should have beautiful, thumb-stoppable imagery of their upcoming Valentine’s Day specials – drinks, dishes, desserts – and seed them on social media.

“Clearly communicate offerings on all channels as well – from OpenTable promo pages around the holiday to your profile page on OpenTable as well as Facebook, your website, and Twitter,” Potter added. “Also, enlist the help of your staff to promote Valentine’s Day to the guests at your restaurant between now and then; you have a captive audience – capitalize on it!”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.