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Valentine’s Day during COVID-19 — retail ideas and tips for dine-in services and takeaway packages

27 January 2021

By: Adibah Isa

Don’t let COVID-19 restrictions win. You can still create a meaningful experience for your diners even if they can’t physically be there.

Love in the time of COVID-19, we meet again. When the pandemic first swept Asia in early 2020, the restaurant industry scrambled to ensure they would not fall behind. With delivery and takeaway as the obvious pivot programmes, some also turned to private dining, e-commerce, and other alternative revenue streams to move forward.

What lessons have we learned from the shock announcements and unpredictable restrictions of 2020? As our first white paper reported back in March 2020, special events such as Valentine’s Day still drew much-needed demand. Valentine’s Day is typically an important cash cow for restaurants and with uncertainty still looming, it is important not to drop the ball but to think out of the box when it comes to tapping on this once-a-year surge in demand. 

Here are some ideas on optimising your restaurant’s Valentine’s Day service for dine-in services in 2021: 

Optimise your safe-distanced Valentine’s Day service

With safe distancing measures still in place, the reduced capacity at your restaurant means that optimising for turns is even more crucial. When it comes to planning your menu, keeping it small while including options that cater for preferences means that the kitchen can move quickly while the menu remains appealing to couples. 

Consider taking pre-orders on menus to prepare sufficient inventory and that no guests have to be disappointed by “eighty-six” situations. Pre-ordering also speeds up the process of ordering and even payment. 

Valentine’s day floor plans can look very different from regular services when you have to break down for many tables of two. Thankfully, floor plans can be adjusted for special occasions with ChopeBook. 

Finally, reduce your no-show by taking a deposit on reservations for Valentine’s Day. While diners don’t want to be disappointed at the prospect of not having a table, restaurants don’t want to be disappointed by diners missing their reservation on this very important day.  

Make it even more special 

Extend a helping hand by asking diners to include any special requests or other details in the ‘diner notes’ section of your restaurant’s booking widget. Valentine’s Day should not be a cookie cutter experience and your willingness to go the extra mile will set your restaurant apart.

Here are some ideas on optimising your restaurant’s Valentine’s Day service for delivery and takeaway in 2021: 

Valentine’s Day as a family affair

Before COVID-19, celebrating Valentine’s Day away from the kids could have meant leaving them with the sitter just for a night and heading out to a restaurant. With existing constraints on dining out and having people over, the reality of Valentine’s Day 2021 could be quite different. 

Create delivery or takeaway bundle sets that cater to the fancy palates of couples while including kid-friendly options so that celebrating the special day at home can involve the whole family. 

Gift cards are really romantic too 

For diners in lockdown, receiving a restaurant gift card as a promise of a really good meal when things get better could be a real pick-me-up and even a really romantic gesture. 

Retailing gift cards is also a great way to increase your restaurant’s revenue over the Valentine’s Day period. Get in touch to speak to us about retaining gift cards via our e-commerce platform, ChopeDeals.   

Let the lovers do the cooking

Couples are always looking for ideas to spice up date nights, and sometimes, a routine visit to a restaurant doesn’t quite cut it anymore. COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions have turned people into homebodies who are into the three Ps — planting, planking, and of course, plating.

If you’ve created meal kits last year, now’s the time to bring them back with a Valentine’s Day twist. Prepare ready-made take-home or delivery kits with detailed instructions that will win the hearts of both the gifter, and the giftee. Apart from meal kits, cocktail kits are also popular with those who prefer to stay home and avoid crowded bars. 

Need some help with optimising your operations or digitising your retail and takeaway sales? Request a demo today to speak to us now.


Adibah Isa

A digital and print journalist turned content manager for brands that believe in the power of storytelling.


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