Love is still in the air at White Castle. COVID-19 might have prevented the family-owned fast-food hamburger chain from offering indoor dining the past year, but it won’t stop them from providing a unique dining experience on Valentine’s Day.
This year, White Castle restaurants will transform into classic drive-ins, complete with carhop service, allowing customers to celebrate the holiday while remaining socially distanced. Customers with reservations will pull into a parking space, where they’ll be greeted by a White Castle team member who will take their order and deliver it to them in their cars.
Reservations for this limited experience are expected to go quickly, so customers are encouraged to reserve their parking space now through the OpenTable app or website. Hours vary by Castle.
“COVID forced us to re-imagine our annual Valentine’s Day event,” says Jamie Richardson, a vice president at White Castle. “This creative and safe solution allows us to celebrate a tradition our customers love. We’re happy to share that once again this Valentine’s Day, White Castle will become Love Castle.”
Since 1991, White Castle restaurants have been celebrating Valentine’s Day by transforming their dining rooms into fine dining establishments complete with hostess seating, tableside service and festive holiday décor. About 30,000 people – both first-timers and repeat customers – dine at a Castle each Valentine’s Day.
White Castle didn’t want to abandon the annual tradition because of COVID, especially since 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the event. So more than 300 participating Castles will turn their parking lots into “Slider Lover’s Point” and invite couples, families and friends to celebrate the holiday of love with a drive-in dinner at White Castle.
Customers will receive a brochure with suggested activities to entertain them while they wait for their food to arrive. And if that’s not enough, a specially curated Spotify playlist will add to the entertainment. Called “Slider Lover’s Luv Channel,” the playlist will feature shoutouts to loved ones and love stories from Cravers around the country. White Castle will solicit shoutouts through social media prior to Valentine’s Day.
For those who can’t get a reservation or simply prefer to celebrate at home, there’s always the option of getting White Castle to go. Customers can pick up a few boxes of Sliders from grocery stores and retail outlets across the country that carry White Castle’s famous fare. They can pick up a carryout meal in the drive-thru by ordering on the spot or in advance using the White Castle app. Or, customers can remain in the comfort of their homes by ordering through one of White Castle’s delivery partners. Just for the day, the 20-Slider Crave Clutch will showcase a new, irresistible design befitting the Valentine’s Day festivities.
“What better time to host such a one-of-a-kind celebration than the 100th birthday of White Castle and the 30th anniversary of our Valentine’s Day festivities,” Richardson says. “Castle is the epicenter of where love is alive in 2021.”