Bring out the bubbly and roses — Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year for dining. We dug into last year’s numbers for the most romantic night of the year, from covers volume to mobile patterns and turn times.
Our charts below share insights from the United States, but we’ve also included stats from some of our international marketings, including the U.K., Canada, and Germany. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the 14th.
VALENTINE’S DAY RESERVATIONS
First things first — how big is Valentine’s Day, really? Last year we seated more than two million diners across the globe and captured our highest single-day volume in company history. Our data show that in the U.S., seated reservations were more than 182% higher on Valentine’s Day 2015 than on the Saturdays before and after the holiday, as reflected in the chart above.
INTERNATIONAL: The 2015 spikes were almost as big in our international markets: up 174% for Canada, 119% in the U.K., and 102% for Germany.
VALENTINE’S DAY PARTY SIZES
No surprise here: In 2015 a whopping 81% of seated reservations on Valentine’s Day in the U.S. were two-tops. Time to get creative with those table arrangements and find all the well-lit, cozy nooks you can.
INTERNATIONAL: The number of two-tops was even higher in the U.K. (87%) and Canada (86%), but significantly lower in Germany, at 74%.
MOBILE BOOKINGS ON VALENTINE’S DAY
More and more guests are booking reservations on their mobile devices than they have in years past. On Valentine’s Day in the U.S., mobile bookings grew by 11% between 2014 and 2015, compared to 6% from 2013 to 2014.
INTERNATIONAL: The U.K. also saw an 11% spike from 2014 to 2015, reaching 31% mobile bookings last year. In Canada, 34% of bookings were made via mobile, up 8% from 2014. German mobile bookings grew 10% from 2014 to 2015, reaching 30% in 2015.
Expect to see more adventure-seeking new faces than regulars on Valentine’s Day. In the U.S. in 2015, 82% of Valentine’s Day reservations were booked by first-time diners — guests who had never visited the restaurant before.
INTERNATIONAL: The same goes for our other countries in 2015, with 84% first-time Valentine’s Day diners in Germany, 86% in Canada, and 90% in the U.K.
VALENTINE’S DAY TURN TIMES
Higher volume necessitates better efficiency. Turn times were actually 5% faster on Valentine’s Day 2015 than on the surrounding Saturdays in the U.S. While an average turn time was about 115 minutes, turn times on Valentine’s Day were closer to 109 minutes — not a huge distinction, but still noteworthy.
INTERNATIONAL: Interestingly, turn times in Canada were 30% longer than average on Valentine’s Day last year! Germany and the U.K. followed similar patterns to the U.S., both down by 2%.
V-DAY BOOKING PATTERNS
Fewer people plan ahead for Valentine’s Day dinner than you may think. Our U.S. data for last year show that while people started booking as early as five months in advance, only 10% of bookings were made a month out. 45% of reservations were booked in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, including 12% made on the holiday itself.
INTERNATIONAL (all 2015):
- Canada: Guests began booking six months in advance, but only 10% of bookings were made a month out. 45% were made in the week leading up to the holiday, with 10% on the day of.
- Germany: Bookings began four months in advance; only 8% were made a month out. 58% were booked in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, including 12% made on the holiday itself.
- U.K.: People started booking seven months in advance, but only 15% of bookings were made a month out. 42% were booked in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, with 8% on the day itself.