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Restaurants boom as romance blooms


More than one million Australians are expected to enjoy a restaurant meal with that special someone this Valentine’s Day – making February 14 the single biggest day in the restaurant industry calendar. 

Nothing says romance quite like a cosy meal in a dimly-lit restaurant. The idea has been ingrained into our collective consciousness since Lady and the Tramp shared that bowl of spaghetti.

It’s no surprise then that Valentine’s Day is an absolute bonanza for restauranteurs.

With an estimated 4.4 percent of the population playing footsies under a table on February 14, the food and beverage industry stands to make a whopping $75 million pay day. That’s a lot of tasting plates!

Stevan Premutico, CEO of restaurant booking website, calls eating out “the new red rose” and expects his company to receive a 500+ percent boost from starry-eyed diners.

He also shared some interesting statistics from last year. 71 percent of Valentine’s Day bookings are made by men (compared to 45 percent normally), the most popular cuisine is Italian and the average spend is $75 per person.

Somewhat less romantically, most men leave their bookings to the last minute – within 72 hours of V Day to be precise. With bookings at record levels, that could lead to some very disappointing dates and a trip through the golden arches. Alone. So get in quick, gents!

And if you’re struggling to find the right venue for Valentine’s Day, why not check out Dimmi‘s list of Sydney and Melbourne’s most romantic restaurants. These are the places to be according to the 250,000 surveyed diners.


  • Sepia – Sydney
  • Pilu – Harbord
  • A Tavola – Sydney
  • 4 Fourteen – Surry Hills
  • Pony – The Rocks
  • Hartsyard – Newtown


  • Pei Modern – Melbourne
  • FlowerDrum – Melbourne
  • Seamstress – Melbourne
  • Sarti – Melbourne
  • Spanish Santiago Tapas – Middle Park

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