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The National Restaurant Association has released new consumer research on Valentine’s Day dining, estimating that roughly one-third of consumers (31 percent) will dine out on Monday to celebrate love and romance.

From the association’s press release:

Younger adults are more likely to enjoy a special Valentine’s Day meal at a restaurant than older adults; 33 percent of 18-34-year olds, and 39 percent of 35-44-year olds say they plan to dine out for a Valentine’s Day meal, compared with 27 percent of those 55 and older.

When it comes to factors involved in choosing where to dine out for Valentine’s Day, most consumers (42 percent) say they pick their favorite restaurant or their companion’s favorite restaurant for their special meal. Twenty-one percent select a restaurant with a romantic atmosphere, followed by restaurants that offer special menus or promotions (13 percent), restaurants picked by their companion (12 percent), and a restaurant they haven’t been to before (11 percent).

For younger consumers, a romantic atmosphere carries more weight when choosing a restaurant on Valentine’s Day than it does for older adults. Thirty-nine percent of 18-34-year olds said that was the most important factor for them, compared with only 8 percent of those 65 and older.

The Association also surveyed member restaurants on what type of promotions they would offer around Valentine’s Day, and the most common responses were special menu items (63 percent), prix fixe menu (45 percent), celebratory beverages or desserts (34 percent), flower/candy (28 percent), and entertainment/music (13 percent). In addition, 63 percent considered Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday—a typically slower day of the week—an advantage.

Do you have reservations booked?

Photo by Flickr user DaGoaty using an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license