In a positive indicator for the sector, hospitality reservations made ahead of Valentine’s Day are showing healthy growth in Australia compared to last year.
Bookings for two people made more than 25 days before Valentine’s Day jumped significantly compared to 2021, according to data drawn from the SevenRooms platform.
Data compiled by the guest experience and retention platform shows that bookings almost tripled in this time frame compared to 2021.
Paul Hadida, General Manager APAC at SevenRooms, said the data indicates that consumers are happy to dine out and are also planning well ahead this year.
“Reservations generally are increasing, and on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, people want to be out as much as possible,” he said.
In another contrast to last year, 85 per cent of all reservations across Australia were booked as tables for two on Valentine’s Day, a six per cent rise on 2021 when tables for four saw a sharp uptick as groups got together after lockdowns, SevenRooms data shows.
Hadida said that the pub sector can leverage rising consumer confidence on February 14 by implementing strategies to amp up their Valentine’s Day offering.
He said strategies to increase bookings ahead of Valentine’s Day could include offering special menus, a bottle of bubbly, or a rose on arrival.
“It’s about creating those memorable experiences and making it special,” he said. Venues can, for instance, enable pre-orders that pop up on their booking engine, or they can offer a complementary beverage upon arrival.
Hadida also suggested a 360-degree offering this Valentine’s Day such as takeaway deliveries, meal kits or care packages, to appeal to guests who prefer to dine-in or who are forced to cancel.
“That way you are still letting them have that experience off premise,” Hadida said.
He said venues that make the day extra special for guests by creating memorable experiences can turn one-offs into regulars and keep them coming back.