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Waiting in Long Lines for Restaurants on Valentine’s Day

In the city of Midland, couples will have to wait a lot more before they get seated for Valentine’s Day dinner on Friday night.
Valentine’s Day is known to be one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year.

In the city of Midland, couples will have to wait a lot more before they get seated on Friday night.

“Normally on a Friday, Saturday night we might go 45 minutes maybe to an hour,” said Aaron Battles,Managing Partner at Texas Roadhouse. “Tonight we might go an hour, an hour and 20 minutes.”

Other restaurants stopped taking reservations a long time ago.

“I stopped taking calls almost a week,” said Meani Dika, owner of Manny's Italian Village.

Dika said he has been getting calls for reservations for over a month. Friday night, he will not be taking any walk-ins.

Texas Roadhouse does not take reservations and to help with the waiting time, they created “Cupid’s Corner,” where customers can buy drinks from a man dressed as cupid.

“We have not only the normal crew, we have people running food, we have people handing glasses, running salads, we are over staffed,” Battles said.

Midland city officials say the long lines could be attributed to a shortage of restaurants.

“We don't have new, semi-formal or traditional sit down restaurants coming,” said Steve Thorpe, Building Official with the City of Midland.

In the last year, Thorpe said only three local restaurants have come to the area.

“I think restaurants are a little afraid of Midland not because of business but because of how their business models are,” Thorpe said.

He attributed the problem to a low pay compared to the high cost of living in Midland.

Fast food and sandwich-style restaurants have increased, Thorpe said.

Midland resident Betty Linthicun decided to go to lunch to celebrate her 49th Valentine’s Day with her husband.

“We avoided the crowds and we thought it would be quieter and easier to actually visit,” she said.

Instead, she enjoyed a quieter atmosphere at the Texas Roadhouse.

“It kinda spoils the romantic mood when you have to wait a long time,” Linthicun said.

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