Some Valentine’s Day dining surprises

Tomorrow’s supposed to be the most romantic day of the year, but over half (58%) of us will celebrate Valentine’s Day either on the 13th or 15th February to avoid busy restaurants according to new research carried out by Musgrave MarketPlace. 

The survey was carried out among 116 consumers and 173 restaurant and bar owners ahead of Valentine’s Day and it found that while over half of diners will avoid going out on the day itself, 71% plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day and 46% say they plan to go out for a romantic dinner for two.


The price of love

Just under half (46%) plan to splurge €100-€150 on a Valentine’s meal while half intend to spend less than €100.

But when it comes to making a restaurant reservation one in five will book a table two weeks in advance while over a third (38%) are much more last minute, only booking a table a week before.

While many people associate a Valentine’s Day dinner with an intimate table for two, over a third (34%) of restaurants and bars surveyed say that a lot of their 14th February business comes from group bookings!


What’s on the menu?

Perhaps not known as a traditional aphrodisiac, lamb is the dish 29% of people would most like to see on a Valentine’s Day menu while steak is the plat du jour for a fifth. Only 8% say they want to see oysters on the menu!

When it comes to dessert, chocolate cake is the pudding we’d most like to share with a partner (29%) while one in five (21%) would choose a cheesecake. Only 4% say they’d like to share a cheeseboard with their other half when dining out.

Three in every five restaurants and bars (58%) polled plan to create a special menu tomorrow and 27% of Musgrave MarketPlace customers say Valentine’s Day is one of their busiest of the year.


Whats on the on-trade’s menu?

Reflecting what consumers want to see on the menu, 59% say they’ll be stocking up on chocolate desserts for the day followed by steak (48%) and Champagne (43%). But while restaurants and bars plan to stock up on Champagne, it seems that diners want a cheaper alternative as only 4% of people polled say they’ll be ordering Champagne. A third (33%) say they’ll drink Prosecco and one in five will order gin & tonic while 17% plan to drink wine.

“As restaurants and bars prepare for Valentine’s Day, we’ve seen an increase in sales for a number of items including an 8% year-on-year increase in chocolate dessert sales,” commented MusgraveMarketPlace Director Desi Derby, “While Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest dining occasions of the year it’s interesting to see that people are also opting to celebrate the day before or after. This should be good news for restaurants and bars as it allows them to extend the occasion out further and drive more footfall to their premises. And of course it’s great to see that 46% of people plan to eat out, providing our customers with their first seasonal boost after the Christmas period”.



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