You’ve probably been there. You forgot to make a reservation, or the restaurant you’re taking your sweetheart to doesn’t accept reservations on Valentine’s Day. So, you’re waiting up to an hour for a table. But as it turns out, when you look at small to medium-sized restaurants in Houston, Valentine’s Day is actually less busy than most other days of the year.
Small business software company Womply looked at credit card transactions for restaurants across the country (excluding national chains) in 2018, and found that in Houston, Valentine’s Day was only the 232nd best sales day of the year.
Compared to the average day, transactions were down by 8 percent and revenue by 14 percent.
Brad Plothow, Womply’s vice president of brand and communications, said while higher-end, fine dining restaurants may be more likely to have their best day of the year on Feb. 14, “there’s a ton of restaurants that are going to see a poor day or even choose to scale down their staff on that day because there’s a lot of folks who are just not going to eat out.”
Valentine’s Day fares worse in Houston compared to the rest of Texas and the country, but even nationwide, there’s not much of a bump compared to other days. Restaurants see more traffic on St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Cinco de Mayo.
In Houston, St. Patrick’s Day 2018 brought in almost double the revenue from debit and credit card transactions for the average restaurant compared to Valentine’s Day — $2,104 compared to $1,092.
The average daily revenue from credit cards for an independent restaurant in Houston was $1,266 last year.