Local restaurants meet Valentine’s Day demand

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Provo residents made plans to make Valentine’s Day extra special for loved ones.

“I feel like I would want to make it special, not just for the girl I was taking on a date, but for myself as well,” Provo local and student Tyler Nichols said.

An Eater statistic reveals couples collectively spend around $29 billion on Valentine’s Day. These costs encompass expenses such as date night dinners.

In anticipation of the surge in customers during this Valentine’s Day season, restaurants across the city are gearing up for the rush. One such establishment is La Dolce Vita Ristorante Italiano, a local favorite in Provo.

Susie Della Corte said she has dedicated 40 years of her life to La Dolce Vita.

“I talk to people and say this is the restaurant I die at,” said Della Corte, emphasizing her longstanding commitment to the eatery since its opening on July 2, 1982.

Spacecoast indicates that Italian restaurants top the list for both couples and singles seeking dining options on Valentine’s Day, followed by French, Spanish, Mexican, and American cuisines.

Bar graph shows Americans eat at a variety of restaurants on Valentine’s Day, based on popular Google searches. Italian restaurants are the most popular restaurants for couples and singles. (Graph courtesy of Eater)

“People are obsessed with our chicken Parma, tiramisus, and spumoni ice cream,” Cleo Ortega, a restaurant manager at La Dolce Vita, said.

Second only to Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, according to Eater.

According to restaurant technology news, nationwide, restaurant sales surge by an average of 65% every Valentine’s Day no matter the location. This necessitates extra effort from restaurant staff and servers from around the country.

Matt King, who worked at La Dolce Vita during the late nineties, said Valentine’s Days were always hectic when he worked at the small, local place.

“Oh, it was just crazy busy,” he said. “From start to finish, it was one of the busiest nights. Everyone was here, and we’d just be working our tails off all night long.”

Despite the challenges, King said the allure of Italian cuisine and the culture of love brings people together.

“Italian is the language of love, and the food — it just feeds your heart. It’s delicious,” King said.

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