Valentine's Day LTOs include $500 Pizza from Firenza, KFC's chicken scratch-and-sniff cards, sweet treats from Starbucks

| by Cherryh Cansler
Valentine's Day LTOs include $500 Pizza from Firenza, KFC's chicken scratch-and-sniff cards, sweet treats from Starbucks

Firenza Pizza is selling a $500 pizza called the Golden Surf and Turf in honor of Valentine's Day.

Hoping to attract Valentine's Day customers, limited-service brands around the world are offering a variety of deals, including BOGOs and sweet treats, but one pizza brand is stepping up its offering by selling a $500 pizza. 

Firenza's Golden Surf and Turf is a 10-inch pie topped with lobster bisque, lobster, filet medallions and caviar and dusted with edible gold leaf, Stacey Kane, who handles the brand's marketing, said in an interview with FastCasual.

"We went with this over-the-top pizza as we start showcasing Firenza as the premier fast casual pizza choice," she said. "We thought it would be a fun way to really highlight the Firenza difference which is an obsession with quality ingredients and craft. It's all about the art of pizza." 

If that sounds a little too indulgent, the 11-unit brand is also offering two 10-inch, single-topping heart-shaped pizzas for $14,  Kane said.

It's a smart idea, said Kaitlyn Mitchell, director of strategy and insights at HelloWorld, who pointed out that since Valentine's Day is all about celebrating coupledom, smart restaurant brands will use that to their advantage by offering special holiday LTOs, which include BOGO offers.

"Couples will love getting something for themselves and their better half," she said in an interview with FastCausal. "Valentine's Day is also a great time to let guests pay the love forward to a fellow restaurant goer."

The holiday is also an excellent opportunity to tap into consumers' love for instant gratification. 

"Restaurants can build affinity among their customers by offering a promotion that is instantly redeemable in-restaurant," Mitchell said. "For example, a quick instant-win game where the prize is a free dessert is both playful and delicious at the same time."

Below is a partial list of brands taking that advice.

Auntie Anne's
Auntie Anne's is bringing back heart-shaped Pretzels. The  heart twists come in Original and Cinnamon Sugar flavors and are only available on Valentine's Day, according to a company press release.

All My Pretzel Perks members can receive a BOGO deal but must download the brand's app before noon Tuesday.

Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuit
Bojangles's is offering customers five ideas to help them express their feelings this Valentine's Day, Bojangles' Senior Vice President of Marketing Randy Poindexter, said in a company press release.

They include:
• A Heart-Shaped Bo-Berry Biscuit. Nothing will warm your heart like the famous buttermilk biscuit with Bo-Berries baked inside and topped with vanilla icing.
• Make your Heart-Shaped Bo-Berry Biscuit experience even sweeter by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream when you get home for a truly delectable dessert. Bonus points if you share it  on social by tagging @Bojangles1977. 
• In Bojangles' hometown of Charlotte, teams are delivering HeartShaped Bo-Berry Biscuits to law enforcement, first responders and other local leaders. 
 • Write a love letter. Visit to create a thoughtful e-Card for your family, friends or that special someone, courtesy of Bojangles'. You can even use this idea to be a community sweetheart by selecting from the pre-populated list of local heroes in your community to send a Valentine's Day message.
 • Customers, who share a legendary love, may want to share a Bojangles' Legendary Iced Tea with their valentines. 

Bojangles' has 749 system-wide restaurants, of which 316 are company-operated and 433 are franchised restaurants, primarily located in the southeastern United States.

California Pizza Kitchen 
California Pizza Kitchen is running a "Sweet Deal for Two" promotion, according to a company press release. It includes an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert for $35.

CPK is also sending guests surprises, including a chance to win a $100 gift card, through its Valentine's Day social media sweepstakes.

Fans can follow CPK on Facebook and/or Instagram for a chance to enter and win, now through Valentine's Day.

Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen has partnered with Ghirardelli to introduce two treats just in time for Valentine's Day — the Dipped Strawberry Blizzard and the Cupid Cake and Blizzard.

"Ghirardelli and DQ are the quintessential sweet pairing. If you want to treat your yourself, or a loved one, to something extraordinary this Valentine's Day, you can have your choice of our new Blizzard Treat or perfectly shareable Cupid Cake, or both," Maria Hokanson, executive VP of Marketing for American Dairy Queen Corporation, said in a news release. "With treats like these, fans can have a decadent Ghirardelli experience paired with world-famous DQ soft serve to celebrate Valentine's Day in a truly special and memorable way."

International Dairy Queen Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. Through its subsidiaries, IDQ develops, licenses and services a system of more than 6,800 locations in the United States, Canada and more than 25 other countries. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which is led by Warren Buffet.

Domino's Pizza is offering large, two-topping pizzas for $5.99 on all carryout orders through Feb. 18.

"This week's carryout special provides a perfect opportunity for customers who want to celebrate the love of pizza — or watch world-class winter sports — with a great meal at a great value," Jenny Fouracre, Domino's spokesperson, said in the release. "Whatever your pizza occasion is, the Domino's team is looking forward to serving customers in our stores this week."

Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza has a  global enterprise of more than 14,400 stores in more than 85 international markets

Flower Child
Based in Arizona, Flower Child is helping couples celebrate Valentine's Day at home with a $30 Valentine's Day Dinner. The offering, which comes with a choice of two proteins and three sides, also includes truffles and freshly juiced raspberry and pomegranate Bellini. Just add champagne.

The chain, which has locations in Arizona, Texas and California, Georgia, Nevada and Texas is dedicated to serving "healthy food for a happy world." It works with ranchers who respect, protect and love their animals and food supply. All proteins are raised naturally without additives. 

Heritage Eats 
Customers can receive a complimentary cupcake made by Sammycakes, a new local bakery and enjoy 50 percent off all wine and beer, according to a company press release. 

The chain serves sandwiches, salads, wraps, rice bowls, tacos and more with a focus on elevated 'daily life' food from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America and beyond, according to the release. 

Jack in the Box
Recognizing that Valentine’s Day gets difficult for the "uncoupled" Jack in the Box is offering a much better alternative to being sad or desperate dialing an ex — free delivery, according to a company press release.

The first 500 fans to tweet a taco emoji + a telephone emoji to @JackBox on Twitter will receive words of encouragement plus a delivery code to redeem for free delivery of their favorite menu items.

This one-day promotion is only available on Feb. 14. Free delivery codes will be on a first come, first served basis.

KFC is helping customers show loved ones how much they care by giving them a fried chicken scratch ‘n' sniff Valentine's Day card featuring the brand's founder, Col. Harland Sanders.

The set of four retro-inspired valentines are available in participating KFC U.S. restaurants and
romantically combine tender love lines with the intoxicating scent of fried chicken, according to a company press release. 

"Some years you have to search high and low for the perfect gift for your Valentine," Andrea Zahumensky, KFC U.S. CMO, said in the release. "This year, we decided to make things easy. Skip the candy and go straight for the fried chicken! Grab dinner and some scratch 'n' sniff Valentine's Day cards and share your love of fried chicken with your valentine."  

KFC's valentines come in four different designs, each with a fried chicken scratch ‘n' sniff patch, so 
your valentine can indulge in the heavenly aroma of the Colonel's 11 herbs and spices. Each valentine features Col. Sanders with some of his favorite KFC menu items accompanied by various sappy love lines like:

  •  "You have the secret recipe to my heart."
  •  "I fell in love the first moment I slaw you."
  • "We're two peas in a chicken pot pie."
  • "I'd be with you all the time if only I could. You make me feel so finger-lickin' good."

For those who are more digitally inclined, KFC has partnered with Tenor, a mobile GIF search engine, to create a series of animated KFC valentines for sharing with friends and family in popular messaging apps. 

Starting this week and running through Valentine's Day, users of Tenor's GIF Keyboard mobile app can find the animated KFC valentines by searching for both love- and singlehood-related terms in the keyboard.

KFC's limited-edition valentines are free while supplies last with the purchase of a $10 Chicken Share, which includes the perfect amount of fried chicken, Extra Crispy Chicken Tenders or Popcorn Nuggets for two people, according to the release.

There are more than 21,000 KFC outlets in almost 130 countries and territories.

Noon Mediterranean 
Noon Mediterranean will spread the love with free heart-shaped pita and pink beet tzatziki at its Madison Square Park location, 24 E. 23rd St., New York. While supplies last, guests can have crispy pitas seasoned with aromatic za'atar perfectly paired with a creamy beet tzatziki.
"At Noon, I challenge myself to create new twists on traditional dishes. This fresh take on two Mediterranean classics is no exception," Culinary Director Chef Kate Schirm, said in a company press release. "We invite friends, lovers, and lovers of flavor to experience this savory treat."
Noon, founded in 2011, now has locations in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. It is opening 15 restaurants in 2018.

Piada, a Columbus-based fast casual, is getting in the matchmaking business. Last week, it started looking for potential matches through the brand's Instagram story for fans located in Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh and Dallas, according to a company press release. 

The winners were chosen from each region, and Piada's Instagram followers helped to choose who they were matched up with for the blind dates.

Each couple's date will include a cheesy dinner for two, flowers, local treats, a three-course meal and a personal server. In addition, each winning couple will win free Piada for a year.

Qdoba Mexican Eats
Qdoba Mexican Eats is celebrating Valentine's Day by bringing back its annual promotion — "Qdoba For A Kiss." The brand will offer one free entrée to every guest on Wednesday who purchases an entrée (of greater or equal value) and shares a kiss with anyone or anything. Guests can kiss their significant other, a picture of a celebrity, or even themselves — any kiss is an acceptable form of payment, according to a company press release.
Customers will also receive a paper luchador mask to use for photos and share on their personal Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram with #QDOBAFORAKISS. Every time the hashtag is used from Feb. 6-28, 2018, Qdoba will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit that is ending childhood hunger in America.
"This is our seventh year running Qdoba For A Kiss, and it's a tradition that our guests and team members look forward to every year," Keith Guilbault, brand president at Qdoba, said in the release. "Since we're all about bringing people together with our fresh, high-quality food, we thought what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than by fundraising for No Kid Hungry — an organization that works to bring healthy food to children nationwide."
To kick off this year's festivities, Qdoba brand will set up a kissing booth in New York City's Herald Square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, Feb.  13. The public will be invited to kiss a luchador on the cheek, grab a photo and/or receive a paper mask in exchange for a donation to No Kid Hungry.
"Roughly 13 million kids in America don't have access to the food they need," said Jill Adams, vice president of marketing at Qdoba. "Knowing that every $10 raised can provide up to 100 meals for a child makes us proud to continue to help No Kid Hungry in its efforts to kiss childhood hunger goodbye."

Qdoba has more than 700 restaurants across the United States and in Canada. 

Starbucks is making it easy for customers to show their Valentines that they "love them a latte" with its LTOs of the Cherry Mocha and a selection of sweet treats, according to a company press release. 

Starbucks Cherry Mocha

Inspired by chocolate-covered cherries, the Cherry Mocha starts with hot espresso poured over a slightly sweet mocha sauce and candied cherry syrup. Steamed milk and whipped cream topped with sugar and cocoa Valentine's sprinkles finish the beverage. It's available now through Valentine's Day.

Other sweet treats include:

  • Confetti Hearts Cake Pop: Chocolate cake coated with milk chocolate icing and sprinkles of heart candies. 
  • Heart Sugar Cookie: Sugar cookie topped with a white or pink chocolatey coating and colorful sprinkles. Now available in Starbucks stores nationwide.

White Castle
Even true love can get a boost from technology as White Castle is discovering this Valentine's Day, the first year that the slider brand has employed online reservations through the online channel, OpenTable. 

"Every year, reservations fill up quickly at most of our Castles," White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson, said in a company press release. "We encourage Cravers everywhere to book their reservations through OpenTable, or contact our regional offices, as soon as possible to ensure they are able to join in on the celebration."

White Castle hosted more than 26,000 people at various locations for Valentine's Day, and anticipates serving a record number of customers for this year's event.

Photos: All submitted by the brands


Topics: Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Online / Mobile / Social

Companies: KFC, Starbucks, Domino's, White Castle

Cherryh Cansler

Before joining Networld Media Group as director of Editorial, where she oversees Networld Media Group's nine B2B publications, Cherryh Cansler served as Content Specialist at Barkley ad agency in Kansas City. Throughout her 17-year career as a journalist, she's written about a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry and technology to health and fitness. Her byline has appeared in a number of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine. She also serves as the managing editor for

wwwView Cherryh Cansler's profile on LinkedIn

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