Love is in the air.

Do you remember Valentine’s Day 2011? We had just dug out of our two feet of snow and ice from the previous week and were starting to thaw out, finally. This year, it looks like we’re going to have gorgeous, unseasonably warm weather! Valentine’s Day is always a fun season at the Red Onion Restaurants, because it is one of our busiest times. If you’ve never brought your sweetheart into Red Onion Cafe for Valentine’s Day, you’re missing it. Standing room only in the lobby, servers in and out of the kitchen almost at a run, hosts efficiently cleaning tables and seating new guests immediately, delicious dinner specials & chocolatey desserts being delivered to each table (for two, of course!): there is an underlying level of anticipation and excitement each year for Valentine’s Day. Extra staff, food and promotions all go in to making this one day our biggest week of the year.

Valentine’s Day has been around for hundreds of years, though. St. Valentine, the guy that started this whole hullabaloo, was martyred on February 14, 269 A.D. for refusing to give up Christianity, but this also happened to be the same day that was devoted to love lotteries at the time. So, the two pieces of history merged together to form what we now call Valentine’s Day. Interesting tidbit: In the Middle Ages, young men & women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentine would be. They would pin these names to their sleeve and wear them for a week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means it is easy for people to know how you are feeling. (Know anyone like that…?)

Now a days, we’re more commercial about the whole idea of love on Valentine’s Day. In 2010, it was estimated that 15 million e-valentines were sent and 190 million paper valentines mailed or delivered. And it should be no surprise that the largest recipient of paper valentines is, you guessed it: teachers. I even saw a statistic that said that 3% of pet owners give valentine gifts to their pets! In all, Americans spend almost $16 billion dollars a year on valentine gifts, the largest amount being spent on flowers and jewelry.

With my own family, I’ve always worked on Valentine’s Day, being in the restaurant business most of my life. But it has become a tradition that my wife Cindy and I now work at the restaurants lending a helping hand where we can during the frenzy, and this is how we spend Valentine’s Day together. We recognize that it is a special day for couples, a day to acknowledge our love and devotion to one another, so what better way for us to show that love but by working side-by-side on our life’s work, which is Red Onion Restaurants! For me, Valentine’s Day is more about spending quality time with her and making sure she knows how much she means to me than anything else. So, although my wife and I have a work date each year, we enjoy that time together.

At Red Onion Restaurants, Valentine’s Day has become more than just a one-day holiday. We now have a Valentine’s Day weekend. We serve entrée, dessert and wine specials for several days surrounding the holiday. This year we will start our Valentine weekend on Friday, February 10 and will culminate the season on Tuesday, February 14. Reservations are still available for the weekend and Monday, so call today. 417.623.1004

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

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