Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Frank Bruni has a blog item about his increased notice of individuals dining alone, and how they're accepted in restaurants. Many treat these diners as VIPs, offering either a table seat, or a space at the bar. Others offer space at the communal table, and a few even play matchmaker from time to time.

 

I’ve always assumed that restaurants don’t want solo diners at tables, because there aren’t any tables expressly set up for one person. The solo diner is going to have an empty seat, which equals lost revenue, across from him or her.

 

But Mr. Coraine told me that I’m wrong. He said the solo diner is giving a restaurant one of the greatest compliments it can get.

 

“The single diner has no other agenda but to eat in your restaurant,” he said. “They’re not there for business, they’re not there for romance.” They’re there for the restaurant’s food and service.

 

He added: “I think there are some operators who see someone walk in alone and say, ‘Here comes some lost revenue.’ I look at it as: here comes tomorrow’s six-top.” A two-top, four-top or six-top is restaurant parlance for a party of two, four or six.

 

 

I'll have a table for one, thank you

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 123
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

if i went to a restaurant just for the view and was given a table with no view and no chance of changing tables for a view, especially when tables with a view appeared to be available, i guess i would

I spend a lot of dinners solo on the road. I prefer a table most places. I am thoroughly entertained 99% of the time by just watching what goes on around me. I had to laugh when I went to Jaan in Sing

Sorry, but that is BS. I have been doing this since my 20s. And my 20s were not yesterday. Women today face a lot less obstacles today when it comes to bias (whether it be dining or anything else). Al

I have seriously diverging tastes from my BF -- so much so that when I want to experience a restaurant, it is infinitely easier for me to head out alone. I will occasionally go with a friend, but then that experience becomes one of catching up with the friend and not concentrating on the food.

 

I probably dine solo upwards of twice or three times a month for that very reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Aaron T

Dining alone, I find that wearing a suit, speaking in a French accent and carrying a clipboard ensures exemplary service.

 

There is something about carrying a clipboard that gets me "special" treatment wherever I go. I like to tell them I am a mystery shopper.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dine alone far more often than I dine with others, and I've had no real problems anywhere I've gone. My strategies: (1) eat early, before the restaurant gets crowded. I generally prefer eating early, so not a problem for me; (2) bring a good book; (3) engage the waitstaff; (4) tip well. The only places I don't go alone are the very expensive ones (e.g., Chanterelle, Jean-Georges, etc.), as I would personally feel uncomfortable being a party of one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Same for me, Wilf. I had some wonderful experiences, most notably at The Square in London (on my birthday), Ledoyen in Paris and the Cape Cod Room at the old Drake hotel in Chicago (my first "upscale" solo dining foray). I don't ever recall being treated shabbily as a woman dining alone. I did get some fishy stares when I stumbled into a subterranean sushi restaurant in London years ago, but that's because I was the only non-Japanese in the place. ;) The chef warmed up when I ordered herring roe.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done.

 

Some servers raise an eyebrow when they see a solo diner, not least because they assume a smaller tip from that table. I have found that ordering a glass of champagne and demanding a wine list breaks the ice.

 

And I've certainly had the feeling that restaurants think I am a reviewer or someone from a restaurant guide.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Same for me, Wilf. I had some wonderful experiences, most notably at The Square in London (on my birthday)

 

I turned 21 in London, eating by myself in an Indian restaurant. I was so happy and proud and it was one of my favorite meals. I remember thinking, "I've pulled this off! I survived childhood and I'm eating Indian food in London! I am in charge, now!" So naive!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...