For lovers only: 5 can’t-miss pizza promotions for Valentine’s Day

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, pizza ought to win anybody’s love. It may not be typically associated with romance, but it’s sharable, saucy and even kind of sexy. That’s why more and more pizzerias are cashing in on Valentine’s Day with special promotions and deals for lovers. If you’re stumped for ideas, we’re happy to help. Here are six Valentine promos that your customers can’t help falling in love with:

Breaking Hearts

Valentine’s Day has become one of the biggest sales days of the year for Papa Murphy’s, thanks to the chain’s heart-shaped “Heartbreaker” pizzas, offered from early February through Valentine’s Day. This promo may feel cliché by now—many pizzerias around the country do it every year—but it still works. You can even jazz it up by giving away cute, corny, kid-size Valentine cards, like the ones you swapped in third grade, or free Hershey Kisses with each order.

Popping the Question

Fazoli’s, the Italian-American chain with more than 200 locations nationwide, earned oodles of free publicity last year with a sweetheart deal for lovebirds: Anyone who got engaged at a Fazoli’s store on February 14 won free spaghetti for a year. The happy couples also entered a contest for $500 worth of catering for their wedding reception, rehearsal dinner or bridal shower. And what do most people want even more than free spaghetti? Free pizza!

A Kiss and a Pie

Bring out budget-conscious couples with a “buy one, get one free” promotion. But there’s a catch: The customer has to give someone a great big smooch to get the deal. It can be a spouse, a date, a best pal, even a willing stranger, but some slobber has to get swapped!

The Soul of a Poet

Tap into your social media fan base, and you could discover the next Lord Byron or Elizabeth Barrett Browning. OK, probably not, but Pizza Hut Australia made national headlines when it held a cheesy love poem contest on Facebook and awarded pizza-themed nail polish packs (“Poppin’ Pepperoni,” anyone?) to 35 entrants. Of course, you probably don’t have Pizza Hut’s vast resources, so forget the weird nail polish. Just ask your followers to write and post their original pizza-inspired love poems—the cheesier, the better—to your Facebook page during Valentine’s Day week and reward random poets with free food. Want to extend the promo to Twitter? Ask for short and sweet love haikus.

Valentine’s Date Night

Prefer to keep it simple? Develop a one-night-only menu that pairs your tastiest specialty pizzas with Italian wines. Set an amorous mood with romantic music and create atmosphere with dim lighting, white tablecloths and candles at each table.

Rick Hynum is PMQ’s editor-in-chief.