Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentines Day Massacre

It has never ceased to amaze me how a date, of all things, can sneak up on a person, but every February 14th a slew of people flood the phone lines last minute to try and appease potential angry partners with a last minute reservation at their favorite fine dining spot. My restaurant is no exception and part of me relishes the opportunity to expose these unprepared patrons of the steak.

To their credit, some people sprinkle their desperation with a smattering of creativity in the hopes that we may take the reservation without ever noticing that it is our busiest day of the year.
"Thank you for calling, how can I help you?". " I would like to get a reservation for Saturday around 7:30". "The 14th?". "Yes". "Valentines Day?". "Oh! Is that Valentines Day?". "Nice try sir, we have been booked solid for 2 months. Looks like another Valentines Day has snuck up on you again but good luck with your special night of Dominoes pizza and masturbation. I hear there is a good skin flick on Max."

Romulus invented the calendar in 753 BC. You have no excuse to be surprised by a holiday that requires reservations.

The other anomaly that fascinates me is how empowered people are because they want to spend money.
"Happy Valentines Day, how can I help you?". "I would like a reservation tonight at 8." "I'm sorry sir, but we have been booked solid for 2 months, but can I put you on the imaginary wait list that, if actually existed, would be as long as the Washington Monument is high and offer absolutely no chance of entry into the building tonight?". "You mean to tell me that you are going to turn down my business in this economy?". "No sir, I am telling you that I am happy to turn down your business, because it just occurred to me that if you were here tonight, something tells me you would find a way to send your food back, because you sound like that kind of an ass. I look forward to our annual conversation next February. Have a good year!".

Please people-heed my advice. February 14th is Valentines Day and it falls directly between the 13th and 15th every year. This day requires a nice meal for your partner, and therefore a reservation. Most restaurants can take reservations up to a year in advance. So eat your meal, pay your check, then go to the host stand and make your reservation for 365 days in the future. If for no other reason, so I don't have to talk to you next year at the zero hour.
This checks and balances works just as well on Mothers Day, Easter, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, and The Fourth of July.
As George W. Bush would say-"It's not rocket surgery folks".