For many couples, Valentine's Day means a fancy dinner out complete with flowers, chocolate and sparkling wine. But with Valentine's Day profits expected to reach $18.6 billion this year, fast-food restaurants are looking to get in on the holiday craze.
Why have an expensive steak dinner when you could make a reservation at White Castle? Who needs an expensive box of artisan chocolates when Dairy Queen has a Blizzard just for the occasion?
Times are tough, man, but these ten fast-food joints ensure that you'll have a romantic evening without breaking the bank.
And hopefully you'll still have a significant other come February 15, too...
See also: -No Reservations: Gut Check's Valentine's Day Fast-Food Experiment -14 St. Louis Celebrities Who Ought to Name a Candy After Themselves -Hate Valentine's Day? Enjoy an Offal (Late) Dinner at Five Bistro
Fazolis Italian restaurants are a quintessential engagement spot, but if you're going to stoop to a fast food restaurant engagement, you'd better get something more than a wedding out of it. Like a year's worth of spaghetti.
Fazoli's is offering couples a year's worth of free spaghetti if the proposal takes place at the restaurant on February 14. The couple will also be entered to win $500 in catering from Fazoli's for a wedding reception, rehearsal dinner or shower. Cause nothing says "I want to spend the rest of my life with you" like Pepperoni Stuffed Pizza Sticks.
Here at Gut Check, we don't have any actual (read: human) valentines, so Krispy Kreme's deal seems pretty sweet. When you buy a dozen donuts now through February 14, you'll get twelve valentine cards redeemable for a free donut. That's right. This year instead of having our fragile heart trampled on by that beast called love, Gut Check is just going to turn around and give those pretty little Krispy Kreme valentines right back to the donut maker. No sharing. Then, we will drown our sorrows in Sprinkled Heart, Chocolate Iced Heart and Valentine Sprinkles donuts and fall into an interminable sugar coma.
Qdoba Qdoba has a great deal for lonely hearts this Valentine's Day. When you buy one entrée, you get one free -- if you kiss someone in front of the cash register. Bring along a date or, according to the rules, kiss a "willing stranger" and he or she will get a free meal. Just, you know, don't be creepy about it. Even worse than not having a date is someone refusing free food if it means she doesn't have to kiss you.
Papa John's It's baaaaaack. The heart-shaped pizza is making its annual appearance for Valentine's Day. For $15 you can get a thin crust pizza and a Cinnapie (ew?) to show that special someone how much you care. Gut Check has ordered this token of love before though, and we gotta say, heart-shaped is a stretch. It's more of a not-quite-round blob. It's the thought that counts.
See above, only you take it home and bake it yourself. The "Heartbaker" pizza is $7, and you can totally tell your date you made it from scratch.
Baskin Robbins The February flavor of the month is "Bundle of Love," which has nothing to do with babies, and everything to do with baby-making. Baskin-Robbins describes the flavor as "chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate-flavored candies and chocolate-flavored hearts with raspberry filling." Hey, Baskin-Robbins, question: What's a "chocolate-flavored" candy? Cause we want some.
Dairy Queen Make your lady (or gent) feel like a queen on Valentine's Day with Dairy Queen's Choco Covered Strawberry Blizzard. The sweet treat is a combination of strawberries, chocolate chunks and vanilla soft serve, and you know your server will turn it upside down to demonstrate how thick and creamy it is. Dairy Queen will also make any of their Blizzard flavor into a heart-shaped ice cream cake, which serves 10-13 normal people, or one Gut Check.
White Castle The "Love Castle" is back in action this year, serving up greasy sliders to couples presumably looking for a way to get out of having sex later that evening. It's OK though; the atmosphere at the Love Castle will make you feel romantic enough. The fast food joint will be transformed into a full-service restaurant complete with Valentine's Day décor and a $10 dinner special for couples. White Castle also hosts weddings and engagements on Valentine's Day, so if you're all out of wacky ideas for how to pop the question, the Love Castle may be your answer.