As I've mentioned before, Valentine's Day is not the industry's favorite holiday. Today's New Zealand Herald (or tomorrow's actually as it is already Thursday down under) reports Tetsuya's and a few other restaurants in New Zealand and Australia have decided to combat couples and ban them from their restaurants on the 14th. I doubt that would work here, though it is an interesting strategy and a different story angle from the usual holiday fare.
A top Sydney restaurant, Tetsuya's, has refused to take bookings for tables for two tonight and will instead seat couples with at least four strangers.
Another reportedly considered a "couples ban".
Restaurateurs complain of a 30 per cent drop in takings because love-lorn couples stay for hours, drinking just a single bottle of wine or Champagne.
In Auckland, one of the country's top chefs, Simon Gault, sympathises with his Sydney counterparts.
"Valentine's Day is something restaurants have to deal with - it's like customers being late and customers being early," said Gault, executive chef at several leading eateries, including Euro on Princes Wharf.