Feb 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

Valentine's Day doesn't pay as much as you might think

People celebrate Valentine's Day in a decorated restaurant.
Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Friday night's expensive — and hopefully romantic — prix fixe dinner for two isn't as lucrative for the restaurant industry as you might think.

Why it matters: Valentine's Day "ranked 94th in the year for consumer spending at local places nationwide" in 2019, Bloomberg reports, lower than Cinco de Mayo and a bunch of regular Saturdays.

  • The "turnover is slower as couples linger longer than on an average night. And it’s hard to orchestrate an entire evening of tables for two, says Hakan Swahn, owner of Manhattan’s two-Michelin-starred Aquavit."

Between the lines: Last year's slow V-Day could be partially due to the day of the week, a Thursday.

  • "Of the top 50 days of the year for customer spending at local restaurants in 2019, 30 were Saturdays and 19 were Fridays; the only exception was Mother’s Day."

What's next: If you're going out, prepare to pay up.

  • "Restaurant prices climbed 3.1% in January from a year earlier, matching the fastest annual increase for that month since 2009," the WSJ reports.

Go deeper: Axios' deep dive on dating, published last Valentine's Day

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