Busiest Day of the Year?
According to the National Restaurant Association, the most popular day of the year for dining out is Mother’s Day, when 38% of survey respondents eating out. But for upscale restaurants and those known for their romantic atmosphere, an even busier day is Valentine’s Day. Overall the National Restaurant Association classifies this as the second most popular day for dining out.
Most Talked About?
Interestingly, as reported by Urbanspoon, they see more people using their site on Valentine’s Day than on any other. They surmise that the reason behind this are that while Mother’s Day is more popular overall, the demographics for Valentine’s Day dining skew younger, with 18-34 year-olds much more likely to dine out than older groups. These are the same segment of the population using online review sites. The take-away for restaurants…people are going to talk about their Valentine’s Day experience online and that will affect your business throughout the year. And it is likely to heavily influence the choice of your restaurant for next year’s most romantic dinner.
What Matters Most?
Another validation of this point comes from a recent survey that OpenTable undertook with its customers on their choice of a restaurant for Valentine’s Day. The bottom line is that positive reviews and ambience matter most.
“Respondents indicated that the top three factors in selecting a restaurant for Valentine’s Day are positive reviews (34%), romantic ambience (27 %), and service (16%).”
A few weeks back we wrote a blog with tips on optimizing online reviews…we can’t stress how critical they are to attracting diners in today’s online world.
Most Desirable Menu?
Another interesting takeaway from Open Table’s survey is their customer’s choice for traditional menus. Keep this in mind as you plan for one of the busiest days of the year, if not the busiest, for your restaurant.
“ When presented with menu options, diners said they prefer a la carte (67%) over prix fixe (33%) menus. Traditional menus came out on top, with the majority of diners (56%) saying they would select a classic three-course meal (starter, entrée, and dessert).”