The National Restaurant Association (NRA) expects about one-quarter of Americans to dine out this Valentine’s Day, making it the second most popular holiday for dining out after Mother’s Day.
The NRA's research also shows that nearly one-third of American adults would like to receive a restaurant gift card as a Valentine’s Day gift. Men show a much stronger preference for restaurant gift cards as a Valentine’s Day gift than women do at nearly half.
Given a list of six Valentine’s Day gift options and asked which one they would most like to receive as a Valentine’s Day gift, 31 percent of adults favored restaurant gift cards, followed by jewelry, clothing/apparel, flowers, chocolate and perfume/cologne. When broken down by gender, 46 percent of men favored restaurant gift cards over clothing/apparel at 16 percent, and chocolate at 12 percent. Women indicated that their preferred gifts are jewelry (37 percent) and flowers (23 percent), with restaurant gift cards coming in third at 13 percent.
When it comes to factors involved in choosing where to dine out for Valentine’s Day, the NRA's research most that 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).