Restaurants challenge supermarkets for Valentine's Day market

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food, Lunch

Restaurants challenge supermarkets for Valentine's Day market
Restaurants are fighting back against supermarket meal deals by slashing their own prices to lure in money conscious diners on Valentines Day

Restaurants across the UK are slashing their prices this weekend, as they compete with supermarkets for the lucrative Valentine`s Day market.

As couples around the world plan the perfect evening for 14 February, restaurants and supermarkets are already battling against each other to snap up their share of the market with cheap deals.

While supermarkets are encouraging consumers to stay at home this weekend with offers such as a £10 three-course DIY Valentine`s Day meals for two, restaurants are using booking websites, vouchers and deals of their own to lure diners in.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester most notably is offering a 20 per cent discount when a table is booked through Squaremeal.co.uk​, while diners can get a two-course meal for £15.50 at St. Albans if they book via Toptable.co.uk​ before 6.30pm or at 10pm.

Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.co.uk​, one of the main sources of downloadable restaurant vouchers on the Internet, told Restaurant magazine that visits to the restaurant deals page of the site has ‘rocketed’ over the past few months.

“We launched the restaurant deals page last June, and use has risen from about 100,000 to a staggering 1.4 million views last month,” he said. “It’s the short-term promotions that get new customers. The Pizza Express deal In January, where the most expensive main came free, was a fantastic way to encourage customers to order more costly dishes they might not other wise have ordered. It was phenomenally successful.”

While most restaurant vouchers are not valid on weekends, several restaurants in the UK are still offering cheap meals to Valentines Day diners. Malaysian restaurant Jom Makan in London, is charging just £1 for each dish so long as diners register with their website; diners can enjoy a three-course Valentines meal at the Georgian Restaurant in Harrods, where dishes can cost up to £40 each; and Foliage at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is offering four lunchtime courses for just £29.

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