Welcome to the Worst Dining Evening of the Year

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 14 2014 8:19 AM

Welcome to the Worst Dining Evening of the Year

469327207-an-indian-flower-vendor-sprays-roses-on-the-occasion-of
Roses are red, restaurant prices are high ...

Photo by Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

Happy Valentine's Day! All across America this evening, people will go out to dinner with their partner and they'll be making a huge mistake.

Valentine's Day prix fixe dinners have basically all the problems of Restaurant Week. The restaurant fills up. But it knows it isn't filled up with tastemakers it needs to impress to build a reputation. And it isn't filled up with regulars who it needs to please to maintain its day-to-day business. It's filled with one-off people who are out because of the holiday, and it's time to squeeze them for all that they're worth.

Advertisement

But while on Restaurant Week you'll at least get a pseudo-discount on your meal, on Valentine's Day you'll be paying inflated prices.

Now there's nothing wrong with increasing prices when demand is high. The restaurants aren't doing anything bad here. It's just that it's not smart for you to stumble right into it. Paying a premium for a subpar dining experience is silly. If you're smart, you'll opt for a nice quiet evening at home tonight (or get together with friends!) and then go out to a nice dinner with your spouse on Wednesday.

All that said, while I normally try to take my own advice I'm actually a terribly sentimental person and made a reservation to go out with my wife to a restaurant we like in the neighborhood. We'll be paying approximately twice what we would pay any other evening for a restricted choice of menu options. Don't be like us. That's dumb. Make smart decisions.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.