Honolulu restaurants get much needed boost on Valentine’s weekend

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants and despite restrictions in place, many Honolulu couples dined-in, giving businesses a much-needed boost.

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Although not ideal, many Honolulu restaurants have adjusted to being in Tier 2 and seating at 50% capacity.

Valentine’s Day was the boost many businesses needed.

“We actually did really good business on Friday and on Saturday, and we’ve got a lot of reservations lined up both inside and outside the restaurant for Sunday,” explained Carlos Delgado, owner of the Boiling Crab located at SALT at Kakaako.

“We have patio dining, and it looks like it’s going to be a really good Sunday, and we’re excited to have everybody bring their loved one in and share that with us,” he said.

He said his restaurant is on par with previous years.

“For us to be competing with prior year numbers at this stage with 50% dining capacity, and very little tourism, to me is really positive and exciting,” Delgado added. “We feel like we’re up there battling every day and doing well by it.”

Valentine’s Day also fell on a three-day weekend which many owners said helped spread out business and prevent large crowds from gathering.

“Something we noticed is that maybe people don’t want to come out on the super packed night, because Valentine’s Day is expected to be busier than normal,” explained Kylee Lin, owner of Cafe Asia.

“So, we noticed that this whole weekend has been busier than normal,” she added,

Restaurants have had to get creative too.  

“We added outdoor seating, we also made our menu more accessible, like having people order online and through delivery apps, so we’re making it workable for everyone,” Lin said.

Some owners are going above and beyond this year.

The chef and owner of Chao Phya Thai at Windward Shopping Center is bringing in special request orders for his customers.

“One of my customers had requested lobster, so I flew in Kona cold lobster from Big Island,” Chef Guy Smith said.

“We have fresh flowers from Watanabe florist that we’re going to be giving out to everybody, and yeah we’re expecting a pretty brisk, brisk night for Sunday,” he said.

He said he was also surprised by how busy it was on Saturday night, but he’s glad there’s another busy night on the books.

Many restaurants said they’ve seen a huge uptick in to-go orders which makes up the majority of their daily sales.

The weekend leading up to Valentine’s Day was no exception.

Several restaurants anticipate last minute date night dinners on President’s Day too.

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