CONSUMER FILE

Making The Most Of Your Valentine’s Day Dining Experience

Feb 12, 2019, 3:19 PM | Updated: 8:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – If you haven’t reserved a table for Valentine’s dinner this Thursday night, it may be a challenge to find a restaurant last minute. The National Retail Federation predicted couples will spend $3.5 billion dollars on an evening out on February 14.

The Log Haven in Salt Lake’s Millcreek Canyon has had its tables booked for the past six weeks. Flexibility can come to the rescue.

“A good thing to remember is that you can make it Valentine’s Day on a different night,” suggested the Log Haven’s Faith Scheffler. “I’m a person who works in the industry, so I don’t get to dine out. So, we just do it on another night and make that the celebration.

Scheffler advised that couples consider celebrating the night before or after the holiday, or even over the weekend when the crowd may have thinned out and more tables could be available.

Kestrel Liedtke, owner of the Tin Angel Cafe near downtown Salt Lake, recommended being flexible on time, too.

Kestrel Liedtke, owner of the Tin Angel Cafe, operates the sales register.

Kestrel Liedtke, owner of the Tin Angel Cafe, operates the sales register.

“We have room at five o’clock, we have room at nine o’clock, but really anything in between there, we’re pretty much booked up,” said Liedtke.

Want a prime spot in a corner, or a table with a view? Make the request early, instead of the moment you walk in. Slipping a little cash to the host or hostess will not help your case.

“Maybe, five times in all the years I’ve been doing this has someone tried to slip me a $50 bill for a good seat,” said Liedtke. “But really, all the seats are good. And, we can only do what we can do.”

Scheffler, at the Log Cabin, says her restaurant will not spoil another patron’s evening because someone else presents a cash bribe.

“We feel like we’ve made a commitment to them (patrons who have made reservations). So, we’ve got to honor that commitment.”

Being on time is important. If you are running late for your reservation, call the restaurant.

“When you’re late, that’s the thing that can start to affect other reservations,” Scheffler said.

Faith Scheffler, Banquet Sales Manager for the Log Haven restaurant, talks about Valentine’s Day dining.

Faith Scheffler, Banquet Sales Manager for the Log Haven restaurant, talks about Valentine’s Day dining.

“It is one of our busiest nights,” explained Liedtke. “If people aren’t going to make it, we waste the space if we spend any time waiting for them.”

Another Valentine’s Day staple is the restaurant marriage proposal.

“We’ve had people clap and cheer because we’ve had some of the men have gotten down on one knee right in the restaurant, which is lovely, really lovely,” said Sheffler.

“It’s always fun,” Liedtke said. “We get, I don’t know, tears and everybody gets kind of involved sometimes.”

So, if a proposal is in your plans, coordinate with the restaurant beforehand.

“We have a certain table we set them up at,” said Scheffler. “It’s a little bit more private. There is not a lot of tables around that particular spot.”

Some restaurant staffs can also help you finesse your proposal.

“I’ve had people who wanted a certain song to play over the radio and they got ahold of me a couple of weeks beforehand. Or, they were going to bring in their kids that held up a sign that said, ‘Will you marry me?’ and I needed to make a little room for that,” explained Liedtke.

One last tip for all couples – live in the moment.

“Maybe, you should put your phones away,” said Liedtke.

And, keep the talk about bills, sitter schedules, insurance and whatever, at home.

“That one night,” Scheffler said, “I would just try to focus on each other and leave the day-to-day stuff behind.”

 

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Making The Most Of Your Valentine’s Day Dining Experience