Jim and Mimi McKneight were among many who made reservations at their local White Castle instead of going to an expensive restaurant.
"For your appetizer we do nachos and cheese and salsa," a White Castle server told the McKneights. "That's on us."
White Castle also offered a free dessert, a reserved table where they could order their sliders from a special Valentine’s Day menu.
"I used to buy White Castles when they were five cents apiece," Jim McKneight said. "You could get six for 25 cents."
That was about the time Jim and Mimi got married. Now, after 53 Valentine's Days as a couple, the McKneights thought White Castle would be more memorable than a steak house.
"Something different," Jim said. "We've heard about this for a long time, but we've never been here on Valentine's Day."
The Valentine’s Day decorations weren't as evident down the road at Fazoli's, but there was a special deal to anyone willing to pop the question.
"Two free spaghetti dinners, and that includes the spaghetti and a drink, one time a week for an entire year," said Fazoli's Assistant General Manager Amanda Moore.
Manchion Neely was already planning to propose to his girlfriend, so when he heard about the free pasta deal he thought he'd surprise her with the help of the cooks. They wrote 'Will You Marry Me' on a dessert plate with strawberry flavored writing.
"I was very nervous," said Neely’s fiancé Shelly Woods. "It's still shocking."
After getting over the shock, Shelly said yes and gladly accepted her ring. Even though an engagement with a year’s worth of free pasta isn't traditional, the couple wouldn’t want it any other way.
"I'm just truly in love and she's happy and I'm happy and that's all that matters," Neely said.
"It was different, and I liked it," Woods said. "And I love him."