10 Tips for a Delicious Valentine’s Day

We’re celebrating #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary all month long — and there are so very many already, thanks to Valentine’s Day! We’ve named the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America and the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America. Plus, we’re running a super-easy-to-enter #savorthelove Valentine’s Day giveaway in which you could win dinner for two. But we’re not stopping there. To make sure you have the best weekend  yet, we’ve gathered 10 tips for a delicious Valentine’s Day. Read on to set yourself up for success.

Tips for a Delicious Valentine's Day

1. It’s not too late to find the perfect table. If you’ve just remembered Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, don’t fret. OpenTable has got you covered. Did you know that almost half of all Valentine’s Day reservations are made in the week leading up to February 14? In other words, there’s still time to snag a terrific table at a top restaurant.

2. Use the notes/special requests field when booking – and be specific. Too often diners write, “I’d love a great table,” but they don’t go into detail about what “great” means to them. Is it a booth? A dimly lit table off to a corner? Name some particulars to score a table that suits your tastes.

3. Talk through extra-special special requests with a manager. If you have elaborate special requests that go above and beyond what most restaurants typically offer (say, asking that rose petals be scattered on the table or having a particular bottle of Champagne or type of flower awaiting your date), stop by the restaurant or call and speak with a manager to inquire if your request is feasible.

4. Celebrate all weekend long. Happily, Valentine’s Day falls smack in the middle of President’s Day weekend, giving diners opportunities to celebrate on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. In fact, in a recent OpenTable survey, more than 30% of respondents indicated that they were planning on dining out on Saturday, February 13. So pick the day that is best for your schedule.

5. Brunch with bubbles! If you don’t have off on President’s Day, and you’re worried about staying out late on the school night that is Sunday, consider brunch with bubbles on Saturday or Sunday, which gives you plenty of time to recover before Monday morning. Also, be on the lookout for special Valentine’s Day/President’s Day brunches at restaurants near you.

6. No date? No problem. There are Valentine’s Day specials for singles happening on the 13th and the 14th. For example, I|O at the Godfrey in Chicago will be hosting Valentine’s Nightcap on the 13th, a party for singles and those with “it’s complicated” relationship descriptions. Similarly, the J. Parker is hosting a Sadie Hawkins 90’s dance party on the same night.

7. Menus: Know before you go. If you’re concerned about special menus, research offerings on OpenTable or a restaurant’s website. Whether you or your date have dietary concerns or aren’t fans of the prix fixe, a little homework can ensure you have the best dining experience possible.

8. Double the fun with a table for four! Reservations for tables of four have grown by 54% since 2013. Embrace the trend and grab another couple — or a couple of friends — for a shared celebration of the day.

9. Don’t let social media dominate your date. Remember to #savorthelove and pay more attention to your dining companion(s) than your phone. While some survey respondents indicated they would likely post a shared selfie or a food photo, 53.65% said they would not be using social media when celebrating Valentine’s Day.

10. Let your phone do the booking with our mobile app – especially for same-day reservations. Almost 50% of Valentine’s Day reservations are booked using one of the OpenTable mobile apps, and 10% of Valentine’s Day reservations are booked day of. The apps can geo-locate you and locate the perfect table near you — even at the very last minute. And, remember, plans change and a table for two at the hottest restaurant in your city could open up at any time, even on Valentine’s Day!

What are you best tips for a delicious Valentine’s Day? Tell us here or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter using #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary!