Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants, second only to Mother’s Day. While it’s generally associated more with fancy, upscale full-service restaurants, pizzerias have been getting in on the romance (and revenue) in recent years with heart-shaped pizzas, now a common offering in the first couple of weeks of February.
But there’s no reason to stop there. In order to attract more customers on Valentine’s Day, your pizzeria can offer special promotions and deals for lovebirds and singles alike. Some ideas include:
1. Couples’ specials: Offer a special deal for couples, such as a large pizza, salad and a bottle of wine for a discounted price. You could also offer a Buy One Get One Free for groups, which would encourage customers to bring another couple or some friends with them to your pizzeria. All these specials can also be offered as takeout or delivery; that way, customers can enjoy your delicious pizza during a romantic night in.
As pictured at the top of this page, Donatos, the Columbus, Ohio-based chain, is pairing its heart-shaped pizzas this year with its new Valentine’s Twists, pull-apart twists served warm, drizzled with vanilla icing and topped with Valentine’s sprinkles. (Note: In 2021, Valentine’s Day was the second-largest Sunday sales day of the year for Donatos, trailing only Super Bowl Sunday. Sales from the heart shaped pizzas launch contributed to the brand’s success as revenue tripled with this first-ever national launch.)
Robert’s Pizza and Dough Co. in Chicago, meanwhile, has created a four-course menu for two that will be offered on Saturday, February 11, Monday, February 13, and Tuesday, February 14. Couples can choose one pizza from a limited range of possible selections, plus a salad (Mediterranean, Apple Hazelnut or Caesars), a small plate (butternut squash soup, bruschetta or classic shrimp cocktail) and tiramisu for dessert.
2. Create a unique Valentine’s Day pizza: In addition to heart-shaped pies, develop a unique pizza with ingredients that are associated with love and romance, such as strawberries, chocolate, or heart-shaped pepperonis.
Related: Here’s why pizza is good for you (no matter what anyone says)
3. Develop a Valentine’s Day cocktail menu: Robert’s Pizza & Dough Co. has done exactly that this year, conjuring up a bevy of artisan cocktails with universal appeal. They include:
- The Aperol Sweetheart Spritz with aperol, prosecco, blood orange and lemon rosemary
- The Pisco Love Potion with pisco, lemon, raspberry puree and angostura bitters
- The I Love New Yorker with bourbon, orange juice, lemon and port wine
- The Keep It Spicy with tequila, aperol, strawberry lemon, spicy bitters, egg whites and rose ice cubes.
4. Valentine’s Day delivery: Offer a special delivery service for Valentine’s Day, where customers can order a pizza and have it delivered to their sweethearts with a special message. This special could include a discount on delivery, or it could be half off a second pizza for bigger groups. Or it could involve the inclusion of dessert with any pizza delivery.
5. Gift card or loyalty points promotion: Offer a promotion where customers who purchase a gift card of a certain amount on Valentine’s Day will receive an additional bonus gift card. This also works for loyalty programs. As a token of love for your customers, you can offer double loyalty points the entire week of Valentine’s Day or double punches on their punch cards.
6. Singles specials: Not everyone has a loved one to celebrate Valentine’s Day with, but everyone has pizza. Pizza is always there for you. Late at night, early in the morning, whenever, you can count on pizza to fill that emptiness inside of you (specifically, the emptiness in your stomach). Singles specials, such as half-off individual slices or a $10 beer and slice combo, are a fun, irreverent way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your customers. And, if you’ve got a bar, consider creating a Galentine’s happy hour for, you know, all the single ladies.
7. Social media contests: Run a social media contest where customers can win a free pizza or gift card by sharing a photo of their Valentine’s Day celebration at your pizzeria or by using a specific hashtag. This is a great way to encourage customers to interact with your socials, which can drive up your follower numbers, increase your online presence and supercharge your marketing. If you’re not sure where to start with social media, you can find customizable templates for free online.
Overall, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for your pizzeria to attract customers and show them how much you care. By offering special promotions and deals, you can create a unique and memorable experience for couples looking to celebrate their love, while also encouraging a little extra business for your pizzeria.
Mark Plumlee is a freelance writer whose articles have been published in Full Service Restaurant, Modern Restaurant Management, Quick Service Restaurant, Hospitality Tech, That Oregon Life, The San Francisco Examiner, Blazersedge and other blogs. As a copywriter, he has helped restaurants and small businesses grow and define their brand for more than five years.