- Most adults (85%) plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, according to a Popmenu study. Of those celebrating, 74% expect to dine out or order takeout/delivery from restaurants.
- About half (49%) of consumers with Valentine’s Day plans say they will dine at a restaurant, while 25% plan to order takeout or delivery and 26% intend to cook at home.
- Men are more likely (44%) to choose fine dining versus women (31%), who opt for casual dining 46% of the time, compared to 39% of men.
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest and highest-revenue generating holidays of the year, so restaurants frequently promote special deals and LTOs. Cracker Barrel is offering a chance to win a free year of food for couples who propose on Valentine’s Day at one of its restaurants. White Castle has brought back its sit-down dinner service after two years.
Valentine’s Day is expected to cost consumers more this year, with an estimated average spend of $192 compared to $175 in 2022, according to Bankrate. Dining out specifically is expected to cost more, with full-service prices up 8.2% year-over-year and limited-service dining costs up 6.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for December, the latest month for which data is available.
Despite inflation, men (43%) and women (47%) expect to spend about the same on Valentine’s Day this year when it comes to meals and gifts. About 58% of women said $50 to under $100 was the right amount to spend for a dinner for two compared to 50% of men, according to Popmenu, which surveyed 560 women and 440 men in the U.S. on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2. However, 37% of men compared to 19% of women said $100 or more is the right amount to spend for this special meal.
Consumer expectations for Valentine’s Day differ somewhat between men and women. Sixty-one percent of men expect to eat at the restaurant compared to 40% of women, while 30% of women versus 20% of men expect to order takeout or delivery. Despite the growing return to dine-in that restaurants have seen in the last few quarters, operators still need to accommodate for delivery and takeout even during busy times.