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Valentine's Day Bonanza (by Sheila Lara)

Valentine's Day is an interesting day for many people. Some spend hundreds of dollars on their significant others on candy, flowers, food, and presents while others absolutely hate the day and its celebration of love; some even call this day Single Awareness Day. However, the hospitality industry loves this day the most! Restaurants are booked with reservations, and consumers have to wait for hours to be seated; hotel rooms are occupied by those who want to get away
or continue the celebration of the day of love after hours. 

In fact, restaurants and hotels not only offer Valentine’s Day promotions for couples, but also for those who are single as well. For example, the Thompson Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in Chicago, offered a Single Awareness Day package for those celebrating Valentine’s Day by themselves. The hotel’s advertising slogan went like this: “Forgo the candy and flowers this Valentine’s Day, and celebrate singledom at the Thompson Chicago” (Hotel F&B, 2017). Their Single Awareness Day package included: a two-night stay in a room with double beds, fifty-dollar food and beverage credit, a bottle of champagne, a personalized itinerary created by the hotel’s concierge, and late check-out. The price for this package started at $189. The target customers of this promotion were young, single adults ranging from 21 years old to about 30 years old. The promotional strategy that the Thompson Hotel used to reach their target audience was adding food and beverage to the package. Normally, a single person people would not book a hotel room on the Valentine’s Day, so the Thompson Hotel decided to add food and beverage to lure consumers into booking the room for the amenities.

Another hotel that offered a Valentine’s Day package was Le Meridien Charlotte in North Carolina. This hotel’s V-Day package was targeted to couples looking for a romantic escape. The package offered by the hotel includes a room overlooking the Charlotte skyline, a three-course dinner in the hotel’s high-end restaurant, free Wi-Fi access, and complimentary valet parking. This promotional package started at $300 (Hotel F&B, 2017). The target customers of Le Meridien Charlotte was for older people who were 35+ years old. This type of getaway package was meant for those who wanted to escape from their kids (if they have any) and their nine to five jobs.

Restaurants also offer deals for couples who want to celebrate the Day of Love. For example, Café Pinot in Downtown Los Angeles had a 3-course meal for $65 per person or a 4-course meal for $75 per person (CBS Los Angeles, 2017). Olive Garden also offered a V-Day special for those on a budget. They offered a Tuscan dinner for two for only $25. This is much more reasonable for consumers who do not want to pay over $100 for dinner. There are hundreds and thousands of restaurants across the nation that offer Valentine’s Day meals for all types of consumers. From high-end restaurants to fast-food restaurants, there is a deal for all types of people.

Hotels and restaurants do their research when it comes to marketing for special occasions like Valentine’s Day. They not only cater to couples looking for something romantic to do, but they also target those who are single and want to do something fun. Hotels that integrate food and beverage into their marketing plan can appeal to a larger group of customers. Also, hospitality businesses recognizing that not everyone has a significant other can reach out to a different group of target audience. The recognition of Single Awareness Day by businesses like the Thompson Hotel gives those who are single the opportunity to get away and have fun. It gives Valentine’s Day a whole new meaning. Days like Valentine’s Day is used to the industry’s advantage to advertise heavily and create special promotions for different market segments. Hotel rooms get booked and restaurants reach maximum capacity. This day is just like winning the jackpot.

Should restaurants recognize Single Awareness Day and begin offering food deals for those who are single? Will more hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry offer packages for consumers who are single? Or should they stick to mostly offering romantic weekend getaway packages to couples on the Valentine’s Day?

About the Author

Sheila Lara is a junior at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is a Hospitality Management major and plan to declare a minor in Marketing later this year. She is interested in the Food and Beverage segment of the industry as well as Event Planning. When she graduates, she would like to have a career in Destination Marketing Organizations and/or Destination Management Companies. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music, crochet, and have fun with friends.

References:

CBS LA. "Where To Eat On Valentine's Day 2017 In Los Angeles." CBS Los Angeles. CBS, 6 Feb. 2017. Web. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-prix-fixe-meals-for-valentines-day-in-los-angeles/.

Wilkes, Tad. "F&B Is the Key to Evoking Valentine Vibes." Hotel FB Magazine. Hotel F&B, 30 Jan. 2017. Web. http://www.hotelfandb.com/additional-fb-topics/holidays-and-special-events/fb-is-the-key-to-evoking-valentine-vibes.

Wilkes, Tad. "Valentine Promotions: F&B for Singles." Hotel F&B Magazine. Hotel F&B, 11 Jan. 2017. Web. http://www.hotelfandb.com/additional-fb-topics/holidays-and-special-events/valentine-promotions-fb-for-singles.

* The picture of Valentine's Day was downloaded from http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/valentines-day.html

This post was edited by Yujia Lian and Linchi Kwok

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