An IBISWorld press release predicts that people aren’t going to be spending as much on dinner out for Valentine’s Day this year, but they will spend a little more on (presumably cheaper) candy. Spending on eating out is predicted to drop 6.1 percent over last year. It’s not surprising in light of the economy and the fact that, let’s face it, dining out on Valentine’s Day just isn’t very enjoyable.
I have to say, I’m with the Chowhound crew that wrote the delightfully skeptical thread from last January/February titled “Why do many people still think going out on Valentine’s Day is a good idea?” But I also spent Valentine’s Day at a taco stand in Los Angeles last year, gulping down watery horchata and chips.
The originator of the thread, baconstrip, sums up the V-Day restaurant experience: “You get the worst service since restaurants get much busier than what the staff is normally used to, boring prix-fixe inferior to what the restaurant is capable of serving (especially for better restaurants) and strange atmosphere provided by dining rooms full of couples trying to be romantic.”
People who work in the restaurant industry apparently aren’t that impressed by the holiday either: invinotheresverde says, “Let’s just say that as a sommelier in an upscale restaurant, we stock Beringer White Zinfandel EXTRA heavily around Valentine’s Day… It’s all Rodney Strong Merlot and BWZ. ... And yes, the owners love selling that schwill, as it has the highest percentage mark up on our list. Purchased for $4.49 a bottle net, sold for $24. Good God.”
And then there’s poor JMF, who “Was once in a Japanese place with tatami rooms on vday when all of a sudden a couple fell through the paper wall into our room from theirs while having sex.”