The U.S. economy might still be struggling, but that’s not going to stop restaurant patrons from opening up their wallets on Valentine’s Day. Results from a just-completed survey conducted by restaurant gift certificate purveyor Restaurant.com show that most respondents plan to dine out on Feb. 14, and they’re going to spend plenty of money to do it up right.
Seventy-five percent of the 923 adults who responded to Restaurant.com’s online survey this January say they will be dining out on Valentine’s Day. Even better, nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, expect to spend more than they do on a typical dining occasion. That’s because they intend to splurge by ordering desserts (73 percent); appetizers (46 percent); wine (42 percent); or more costly entrees than they would ordinarily buy (40 percent).
There is a limit to this largesse. Most respondents intend to keep their Valentine’s dinner check in the $50-$100 range. Only 4 percent expect to spend $150 or more on dinner.
Where do these free-spenders intend to go? Almost half (49 percent) of survey respondents said Italian cuisine is their preferred choice for a Valentine’s Day dinner. The booby prizes for “least romantic cuisine” went to Mexican food (44 percent of respondents tabbed it as such) and sushi (34 percent).
The survey’s most surprising finding was that 61 percent of respondents think it’s “savvy” to use a dining coupon on Valentine’s Day meal. Only 2 percent said it would be a turnoff.