No dinner reservation? Three things that could get a last minute Valentine’s Day table

Like the tax filing deadline, Valentine’s Day has a tendency to sneak up on folks that missed all the Cupid-themed signs.

Many area lovers may find themselves on the lovers’ holiday without a paddle or a dinner reservations.

Not being ‘Girl Scout-prepared’ might prove a grave error that lands you a night in the doghouse.

Read Romantic spots to dine on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the second most popular dining-out day behind Mother’s Day, according to the Ohio Restaurant Association.

More than a quarter of Americans will dine out today, the National Restaurant Association says.

Amy Zahora, executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, says there is no need to panic if you still don’t know where you are going tonight.

Here are three things you can do to get a table tonight:

Zig when everyone else zags

Zahora said 6 p.m. is the busiest hour at many area restaurants. Consider an early dinner — 5 p.m. or so — or a late one — around 8 p.m.

“(Dinner) may be a little earlier so you are on the off-peak time,” Zahora said.

Strategize

Game plan your evening. Zahora suggested calling restaurants to check the likeness you can be seated. Get a last minute reservation if can.

Try a restaurant with a no-reservation policy

“There are a lot of places out there that don’t take reservations,” Zahora said. “They will be easier to get into.”

EXTRA CREDIT

Mark your calender for February 14, 2014. Don’t forget to call well in advance next year for Valentine’s Day reservations. You wouldn’t want to repeat this fine mess.

Contact this blogger at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth

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