Many people cringe when they must respond, “One” to the “How many in your party?” question from the restaurant greeter?
Many avoid the cringe by ordering room service or grabbing take-out.
Dining alone in a restaurant isn’t the first choice of most people. Dining is an experience we like to share. But, eating is a necessity. Enjoying the ambiance of a lovely restaurant is part of the dining experience, too. So, alone in a new city or simply hungry in your own? Don’t be reluctant to confidently say, “Table for one, please.”
Act confidently. Walk into the restaurant looking like you belong in their establishment. No, that doesn’t mean you strut in, but walk in with your head up, make eye contact with the maitre d’, and speak clearly. No mumbling. If you look like you feel sorry for yourself then why won’t others feel the same toward you?
Ask for a quiet table. No one wants to eat alone in the middle of a restaurant. Ask for a table less central. One with a view would be a bonus.
Consider eating at the bar. Many restaurants serve their regular menu at the bar too. No one even looks to see who is dining alone. You may feel less conspicuous.
Disregard what I’ve said in previous blog posts and workshops. Yes, you have permission to check your email, lose yourself in a great book on your e-reader, and browse the tourist attractions on your tablet. Refrain from speaking on your phone in a restaurant. I’m not giving permission for that one! Don’t let your technology consume you though and take away the pleasure of your food. Tweet your friends about how proud you feel.
Get creative. One of my solitary dining experiences resulted in one of my most popular blog posts, Observations During a Fruit Platter and Two Chocolate Croissants. Inspiration hit and I turned over my paper breakfast place mat and scribbled away.
Order dessert. There’s no one to see you so order the triple chocolate cheesecake and eat it all!
“Table for one, please” shouldn’t be an issue. You have the confidence.