White Castle hosted its 29th annual Valentine’s Day dinner event, helping more than 30,000 people create cherished memories with their friends, families and loved ones, including one surprise marriage proposal in San Antonio. It was the largest number of Valentine’s Day dinner guests to partake in the nearly 30-year tradition.
Hundreds of Castles in 14 states, including a pop-up Castle in San Antonio, Texas, participated in White Castle’s beloved event. Customers accustomed to counter service in a casual setting enjoyed a more formal dining experience complete with hostess seating, red and white tablecloths, tableside service and festive decorations.
“Our Valentine’s Day celebration has been such a big event for us and for lovers of White Castle,” says Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle. “We decided to expand the Valentine’s Day dinner to give more of our Cravers the chance to enjoy this one-of-a-kind dining experience, and the easiest way to do this was by hosting a pop-up restaurant in a city outside of our existing footprint.”
The burger chain chose San Antonio, Texas, as the site of its first Valentine’s Day pop-up for a few reasons. First, it’s home to a relatively large number of passionate White Castle fans, affectionately called Cravers. It’s also headquarters for H-E-B, one of White Castle’s long-time retail partners. The grocery store chain started selling White Castle’s famous square hamburgers, called Sliders, in 1988, just one year after White Castle launched its retail division. The two teamed up to make turn the idea of a pop-up Castle into a reality. The city’s pleasant February weather, of course, also played a role in the decision.
“We were so excited to share the love with our fans in San Antonio, and they welcomed us with open arms,” Richardson adds. “We scheduled the pop-up for three days, and reservations filled up within hours. It’s been an awesome experience.”
In a show of appreciation for the city’s warm welcome, White Castle has pledged a $15,000 donation to the San Antonio Food Bank. The company will make a $10 contribution on behalf of each diner at the pop-up this weekend and give a portion of event t-shirt sales. In addition, White Castle’s Crave Mobile food truck will be open to the public on Monday, Feb. 17, providing each customer a sack of four sliders in exchange for a $5 donation to the Food Bank.
While more than 750 Cravers were celebrating in San Antonio, tens of thousands more were feeling the love at local White Castles in 13 other states. The Valentine’s Day dinner event is a long-standing tradition for White Castle and a fun, affordable choice for couples, families and friends.