Whether it’s a date night or girls’ night this Valentine's Day, plenty of restaurants, pubs and bars are offering promotions to help boost sales on the most romantic day of the year. But pubs and bars might be missing a sales opportunity by not considering how to add great drinks options to complement a romantic meal.

Our research at CGA shows that fewer than a third (30%) of drink-led sites ran some sort of promotion around Valentine’s Day last year, compared to half (50%) of food-led venues. Most promotions that we see on high streets are food-led, and four-fifths (79%) of last year’s Valentine’s Day activity was focused on special menus.

But could pubs and bars, in particular, be missing a trick on drinks promotions? Only a small number of operators ran drinks promotions (7%) last year and LAD sales were down. But with Valentine’s Day in 2018 driving an average uplift of extra three bottles of wine per outlet against the average Wednesday, as well as an extra 43 25ml serves of spirits, there is an obvious chance to create interest in drinks through better marketing.

Wine and champagne are the drinks most closely associated with 14th February, but with a bit of creative thinking on cocktails, operators could push that spirits sales uplift even higher. One way to achieve that could include sharpening the focus on fizzy, celebratory-style cocktails. It is a good time to pull in support from drinks suppliers too, leveraging spirits brands to theme drinks for the day. With competition for market share so fierce at the moment, striking the right offer on Valentine’s Day can be a big springboard to acquiring new customers and encouraging loyalty among existing ones.

While Valentine’s Day is traditionally seen as more of a food-led occasion, there’s no reason why drinks suppliers can’t show this day more love and elevate the entire meal experience and in turn, drive sales.

Contact me at rachel.weller@cga.co.uk about how we can help drive your drinks growth and profitability.


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