Cupid’s arrow is flying, and restaurants are ramping up for one of the busiest holidays of the year. The majority of adults ages 18 and older (85%) plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, according to Popmenu’s nationwide study of 1,000 U.S. consumers in February. Of those celebrating, most (74%) plan to dine at or order takeout/delivery from restaurants, but there is a difference in dining expectations among men and women.
According to Popmenu’s research, men are more likely to choose a fine dining restaurant to celebrate Valentine’s Day, dine in person and feel that $100 or more is the right amount to spend on dinner. Women are more likely to choose a more casual dining option, order takeout/delivery and feel the meal itself is enough of a gift. See the full breakdown below:
Who are consumers spending Valentine’s Day with this year?
Half of consumers (51%) plan to celebrate with their significant other while 16% will do so with family and 5% with friends; 13% plan to treat themselves while 15% will not celebrate.
How are they planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Among all consumers partaking in holiday festivities, 49% plan to dine at a restaurant, 25% plan to order takeout/delivery and 26% plan to cook at home or enjoy another activity.
- A higher percentage of men say they will dine in person at a restaurant (61% of men compared to 40% of women)
- A higher percentage of women say they will order takeout/delivery (30% of women compared to 20% of men)
Is paying for a meal enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day?
- 77% of women say yes compared to 64% of men.
What type of restaurant would they most like to dine at or order from for Valentine’s Day?
The No. 1 answer for men is fine dining (44% chose this option) while the No. 1 answer for women is casual dining (ex: Applebee’s, Red Lobster, etc.) with 46% choosing this option. Women are also twice as likely to choose a fast casual option (ex: Chipotle, Panera, etc.) at 10%. The top three choices in order include:
1) Fine Dining – 44%
2) Casual Dining – 39%
3) Fast Casual Dining – 5%
1) Casual Dining – 46%
2) Fine Dining – 31%
3) Fast Casual Dining – 10%
What is the right amount of money to spend on Valentine’s dinner for two at a restaurant?
While the sweet spot tends to be $50 to less than $100 for both men and women, men are nearly twice as likely to say you should spend $100 or more at 37% compared to 19% of women.
Right Amount to Spend
Less than $50 — 13%
$50 to less than $100 — 50%
$100 or more — 37%
Less than $50 — 23%
$50 to less than $100 — 58%
$100 or more — 19%
Do they plan to spend more on Valentine’s Day (meal, gift, etc) this year compared to last year?
Spending patterns are holding steady for the most part, but men are more likely to increase their Valentine budget this year (27% of men compared to 15% of women).
Spend compared to last year
Spending more — 27%
Spending the same — 43%
Spending less — 25%
Didn’t celebrate last year — 5%
Spending more — 15%
Spending the same — 47%
Spending less — 30%
Didn’t celebrate last year — 7%
What are the most popular dishes consumers would like to order for Valentine’s Day?
- Steak and seafood ranked highest for both men and women with pizza rounding out the top three for men and pasta rounding out the top three for women.
When will they celebrate?
- 78% of those celebrating plan to dine at or order from restaurants on February 14 while others will dine on surrounding days.
Popmenu conducted an anonymous, nationwide study of 560 women and 440 men, ages 18 and older, in the U.S. from February 1 to February 2, 2023. While there are different gender categories people identify with, this study focused on those identifying as men and women.