With Feb. 14 now less than two weeks away, you probably feel like it's crunch time for what might arguably be the most stressful part of Valentine's Day: Picking the perfect restaurant for an evening out with your SO or your crew. Even for those who aren't decision making-challenged like me, the pressure to choose a dining location that offers the right ambiance, price, and, most importantly, food, can be a tough call. That's why you'll want to try OpenTable’s Matchmaker tool for Valentine’s Day 2019, which expertly "matches" you with a customized dining experience that you will be sure to love. Here's how to try it out for yourself.
Restaurant reservations for the big day are already getting snatched up, a I discovered while looking through OpenTable yesterday. According to the booking platform, people tend to reserve their Feb. 14 tables about 11 days out from the holiday, which means you need to make moves on a reservation ASAP if you want to have your choice of restaurants. Stressful, I know. Luckily, OpenTable’s Matchmaker tool is basically made for people who can't seem to choose a restaurant to eat at on a regular date night, let alone for Valentine's Day. Because, let's be real, the struggle of making a decision on dinner is so real.
Starting on Monday, Feb. 4, couples and friends can pull the trigger on their date night and Galentine's Day plans by heading over to the Valentine's Day tab on OpenTable's website, per and OpenTable press release. From there, you can click on the Matchmaker tool, which then takes you to a multi-slide quiz where you answer questions about who you're dining with (because the vibe is so different if you're with your family, crew, or SO) and your budget, because not everyone is trying to ball all out for V-Day dinner.
From there, you can choose which kind of cuisine you prefer as well as what ambience you're looking for, from hip and happening to quiet and cozy. If you're not trying to celebrate on Thursday, Feb. 14 itself, you can also choose from any date that month to make plans.
Based on your choices, the tool will find an ideal restaurant for you, as well as a list of other possible choices. It's not completely perfect — I wish that there were more cuisine options and a middle budget option between "cheap" and "going all out," but it sure beats the stress of trying to choose from all the restaurants in the city and shows you what's available on the day of your choosing. Plus, for couples who know that the conversation around deciding where to eat tends to lead to arguments, it's a relationship-saver.
Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable, said in the press release:
"Valentine’s Day is the biggest dining day of the year. Last year, we saw over 2 million seated diners on the holiday. With our Matchmaker, we want to ensure it’s a joyous, carefree occasion, when people can focus efforts on being with significant others, loved ones or friends, rather than stressing over where to go or what to eat."
My favorite part about OpenTable's new feature is that picking a restaurant ends up being an adventure. You might find some gems you've never heard of or rediscover an eatery that had slipped your mind. It's just one more reason to leave the stressful decision-making up to the experts this Valentine's Day and end up with dinner plans that you'll actually be excited about.