The second most popular holiday for dining out after Mother’s Day, this Valentine’s Day is expected to be busy for restaurant operators across the nation. Not only will millions of Americans dine out on that day, but many are also choosing restaurant gift cards to celebrate the occasion. Valentine's Day remains big dining out holiday, and according to the National Restaurant Association’s latest research, approximately one-quarter of Americans dine out on Valentine’s Day, and nearly one-third say they would also like to receive a restaurant gift card on February 14. An NRA survey from 2011 also explored factors consumers consider when choosing their Valentine’s Day dining location. More than two in five consumers say they pick their favorite restaurant or their companion’s favorite restaurant for their special meal. Approximately one in five select a restaurant with a romantic atmosphere, followed by restaurants that offer special menus or promotions, restaurants picked by their companion, and a restaurant they haven’t been to before. Given a list of six Valentine’s Day gift options and asked which one they would most like to receive as a Valentine’s Day gift, nearly one-third of consumers favored restaurant gift cards, followed by jewelry, clothing/apparel, flowers, chocolate and perfume/cologne. The NRA also found men were more likely than women to say they would like to receive a restaurant gift card. The National Retail Federation's annual survey found more than one-third (35.1%) would spend on plans for a special night out, including movies and restaurants, totaling $3.6 billion. The survey found nine in 10 (91%) plannned to treat their significant others/spouses to something special for the consumer holiday, with plans to spend an average of $87.94 on them, up from $78.09 in 2014, according to, "Cupid to Shower Americans with Jewelry, Candy this Valentine’s Day." It seems women were in for the biggest treat on Valentine’s Day. Men were estimated to spend nearly double what women plannned to spend ($190.53 versus $96.58 on average, respectively.) Additionally, adults 25 to 34 were to outspend other age groups at an average of $213.04; 35 to 44-year-olds were to spend an average of $176.21 and 18 to 24-year-olds spent an average of $168.95. Take these recent findings into consideration when promoting Valentine's Day packages, events and menus now. AudienceSCAN reports 18.7% of Americans celebrated Valentine's Day in a hotel or at a restaurant (or both!) in 2015. 62.4% of them were married; 16.7% were single and never married; and 9.4% were cohabiting, so try marketing to all of these types of couples for a knock-out V Day campaign. Mobilize! Valentine's Day Celebrators are 43% more likely than average Americans to use their smartphones to look up business info/locations. Try out a daily deal: 34% took action after seeing one in the past month. Maybe a one-night stay with breakfast in bed? Or a private dinner with a stay at a B&B? Also, 20% of celebrators learn about nearby events from TV and 19% from newspapers. AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.
BY Courtney Huckabay