How to Snag a Last-Minute Dinner Reservation

NEW YORK (MainStreet) – We can almost understand how you can forget your wedding anniversary or your significant other’s birthday. But there’s really no excuse for forgetting about Valentine’s Day. For the last month we’ve been inundated with commercials and advertisements hawking flowers, chocolates and other gifts, and chances are your local drugstore currently has an entire aisle dedicated to teddy bears and heart-shaped boxes. Valentine’s Day is all around us, so it’s hard to understand how someone could forget about it.

But if this story is somehow your first reminder that today’s the big day, don’t freak out. It’s not too late to find a place for a romantic dinner. Because Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, a lot of couples decided to do their dinner date on Friday or Saturday. Combined with the fact that Monday tends to be one of the slowest days of the week for restaurants, it’s possible you won’t be battling as much of a crowd.

We spoke to a source at a restaurant reservation service who asked to remain anonymous to give you the insider tips on the reservation game.

“There’s always a table somewhere if they want to give it to you,” the source says, noting that there will always be cancellations and no-shows. “Ninety-five percent of restaurants will have some sort of plan for walk-ins.”

Your best bet for snagging one of these broken reservations is at a larger restaurant – after all, the more tables an establishment has, the greater your chances that one of them will open up. Sure, a quaint Italian restaurant may be more romantic, but you should have thought of that before you forgot to make a reservation.

You should also be prepared to settle for a less-than-ideal table if all the regular tables are taken.

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