Kiss and tell: Aussies get candid on the biggest Valentine's Day vibe killers including having an argument, uttering an ex's name and feeling bloated at dinner

2024/2/9 12:57:39
  • Other reasons Australians were hitting pause on passion during their dinner date include their partner flirting with someone else on the date (36%) and making no effort with their appearance (29%)
  • OpenTable unveils its list of Australia's Top 50 Romantic Restaurants based on diner reviews* and suggests booking before February 10 to help better your chances of securing your favourite table on Valentine's Day***
  • General Practitioner, Dr. Sam Hay reveals his top tips to help Aussies navigate menus this Valentine's Day for a romantic date

SYDNEY, Feb. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching and nearly half (46%) of Aussies planning to spend February 14 dining at a restaurant, OpenTable has revealed the Top 50 Romantic Restaurants for 2024 compiled from over 300,000 Aussie diner reviews and diner metrics including ratings and the percentage of restaurant reviews where diners tagged the restaurant as "romantic."**

Ursula's, NSW, OpenTable
Ursula's, NSW, OpenTable

Choosing a restaurant from the new Top 50 Romantic Restaurants list is the first step to setting the right mood, and OpenTable commissioned consumer research to uncover the top date night vibe killers and what to avoid to help couples stay in the mood during and post-date. Aussies admitted the following dampened the pre-hanky panky mood: having an argument mid-date (42%), being rude to waitstaff (40%), a partner uttering their ex's name (32%), and feeling bloated and gassy from their meal (27%).

Additional research highlights include*:

  • Hassles of the heart – Just over a fifth of Aussies (21%) say they find cost the most stressful when planning where to dine out while 12% are most stressed about finding the perfect restaurant.
  • Planning a romantic night out – While 23% of Aussies are considering dining at a restaurant that holds special memories, 29% are considering dining somewhere new that they've never been before and discovering new restaurants and flavours that tickle their taste buds.
  • Me, myself, and dining  7% of Aussies are considering dining solo on February 14 as more people choose to celebrate Valentine's Day regardless of their relationship status.* In 2023 on Valentine's Day, dining for one on OpenTable was up 56%*** compared to the year prior.

Feeling gassy deflates Australians' post-dinner romp plans

With bloating considered one of the ultimate Valentine's Day mood killers, 46% of Australians revealed they've actively avoided post-dinner romp because of it. In fact, 64% of Aussies admitted feelings of bloating and gas even led them to end a date early. OpenTable partnered with leading general practitioner Dr. Sam Hay to help diners navigate restaurant menus and keep the romance vibe alive.

"Close to half (46%) of Aussies admit that feeling bloated has stopped them from getting intimate after a dinner date! However, diners shouldn't let this stop them from starting or rekindling their romance. There's lots you can do to remedy these feelings such as daily exercise, drinking more water and choosing from the menu more fibre-rich foods such as nuts, wholewheat and leafy greens," said Dr Sam Hay, GP.

Dr Sam Hay also provided simple tips and tricks to help Aussie diners navigate the menu without fuss on your romantic dinner for two:

  1. Size is everything – Portions can make all the difference when it comes to an upset stomach, opt for lighter and smaller portions that you can indulge in with your significant other.
  2. Eat slowly – Not only do you want that special date to last longer, eating too quickly makes you fill quickly, plus you swallow lots of air.
  3. Drink plenty of water – This keeps the bubbles down and everything moving through easily. And avoid 'diet' drinks, as artificial sweeteners could trigger bloating.
  4. Post-date stroll? – If you do decide to indulge, a post-dinner stroll can help soothe the stomach

OpenTable reveals Australia's top restaurants for igniting romance

OpenTable is making it even easier for Aussies to find the right venue that suits their romance needs this Valentine's Day with the Top 50 Romantic Restaurants list.

"From first dates to romantic milestones, OpenTable has Valentine's Day covered. Our 2023 data*** revealed the majority (50%) of reservations were made at least four days out so booking before February 10 should increase your chances of snagging your desired table. With the list featuring stunning spots like Bistro 916's famous French fare in Sydney, St Kilda's seductive and vibrant Rococo, to cliffside favourite Joey's in Brisbane, there is something for everyone's romance needs," said Drew Bowering, Senior Director Sales and Services APAC at OpenTable.

"We're also seeing a shift in how people celebrate Valentine's Day, which is no longer just a holiday for couples but a good excuse for mate dates. Last year, 15% of Valentine's Day dining was for tables of 6+, making it the most popular part size after 2, which was up 44% compared to the year prior," said Bowering.

The Top 50 Romantic Restaurants** highlights include:

  • Love is in the air in Queensland with an impressive 21 venues featured on the Top 50 list, including Gold Coast favourite Rick Shores and rustic Italian Mount Cotton hotspot Tuscan Terrace. Victoria followed closely with 16 restaurants, and New South Wales came in third with nine restaurants.
  • Modern Australian was the most popular cuisine in the Top 50 list, making up almost a third (32%) of restaurants, followed by Italian (26%) and Seafood (10%). These ranged from the urban oasis that is The Potting Shed in Sydney and the Landscape Restaurant and Grill, with its old-world charm in Hobart.

To find the Top 50 Romantic Restaurants visit

*Consumer Research Methodology

An online survey was conducted by PureSpectrum among 1501 general Australian consumers. Within this sample, quotas were applied to major cities for direct comparison. Australia was included as one of eight markets in a multimarket study surveying 12,000 participants on the topic of Valentine's Day attitudes and behaviours. The research fieldwork took place between January 19th - 25th, 2024. 

**Methodology of the Restaurant List

OpenTable's Top 50 Romantic Restaurants in Australia for 2024 is generated from over 300,000 verified OpenTable diner reviews and dining metrics from December 1, 2022 and November 30, 2023. Restaurants with a minimum threshold of diner reviews were considered and evaluated by a compilation of unique data points, including diner ratings, the percentage of five star reviews, the number of alerts set, the percentage of reservations made in advance and direct searches. Metrics were weighted to comprise an overall score. The qualified restaurants were then ranked by the percentage of reviews with the tag "romantic." The resulting list appears A-Z, not in ranked order. 

***OpenTable Data

OpenTable looked at seated diners from walk-in, phone and online reservations on February 14th in 2023, and compared it to February 14th 2022, when highlighted, looking at restaurants that were on the platform in each of these periods. Cuisines and price ranges are self-determined by restaurants.

About OpenTable

OpenTable, a global leader in restaurant tech and part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG), helps 55,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues worldwide fill 1.6 billion seats a year. OpenTable powers reservations, experiences, payments, guest insights and operations, enabling restaurants to focus on doing what they do best: providing great hospitality.