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Dinner With A Side Of I Do’s: For Restaurants, Proposals Are Good Business

Published February 13, 2016 – NPR / The Salt / Food For Thought – Article by Alan Greenblatt

If you work in a restaurant, marriage proposals are good for business. Happy couples lift the mood in the entire dining room and often turn into lifelong customers. That once-in-a-lifetime experience for them is pretty routine for restaurateurs.

High-end restaurants with nice decor can count on someone popping the question every week or two. At a few rooms with big views, such as The Sun Dial in Atlanta or the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas, proposals are a daily occurrence.

“It’s very, very common, and we absolutely love it,” says Ti Martin, one of the owners of the famed Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. “I’m a sucker for a good proposal.”

Remember the opening scene of that 1987 movie Moonstruck, when Danny Aiello proposes to Cher? He gets down on his knees, the waiter worries he’s ruining his suit and a neighboring diner tut-tuts that he didn’t spring for a ring. Once Cher accepts, the whole place bursts into applause.

Chandlers, a steak and seafood restaurant in Boise, Idaho, facilitated a Brady Bunch-style engagement a couple of months ago, with kids from the couple’s previous marriages hiding over by the bar. “The four children each held up a sign, like at a baseball game, ‘Will-you-marry-me,’ ” says Chandlers general manager David Boyle. “That was a cool deal. That got the attention of the room.”

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