Welcome to the Worst Dining Evening of the Year

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

Welcome to the Worst Dining Evening of the Year

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.


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.



Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.