According to the American Time Use Survey, approximately 60 percent of Americans ate alone on a regular basis in the year 2006. And that number is now even higher.
A new survey shows that 2,000 Americans eat out 74 percent of the time, alone each week. The same report also states that 68 percent of Americans enjoy having lunch alone.
However, this does not make things easier for everyone. For instance, many people aren’t comfortable going out for a meal. Why? They feel there is some sort of stigmas associated with people who eat alone.
Now let’s examine and answer the question critically.
Is It Weird To Eat Out Alone?
No, it is not weird to eat out alone. Eating out alone helps you to unwind and enjoy your meal. It will also afford you enough time to reminisce on other issues and do so with a clear head. You won’t be concerned about entertaining someone else.
Whether you’re meditating, watching the game, or reading, there’s always something to love about eating out alone. So, it can be beneficial, especially for people who have tight and hectic schedules.
Continue reading this article to learn the benefits of eating out alone and lots more!
Benefits Of Eating Out Alone
Many people are apprehensive about eating out alone. Why? Most of them feel concerned about what other people think of their actions. However, knowing the several benefits of eating out alone might interest you.
These benefits will almost certainly improve your experience and let you be yourself whenever you step out to eat.
Check them out.
It saves time:
When you eat with someone else, you spend significantly more time selecting a restaurant, choosing a menu, and the likes.
However, when you eat alone, you don’t have to think about anyone else. As a result, eating alone helps you to make swift and timely decisions. The swiftness saves you a lot of time and effort, especially when you’re in a hurry.
You’ll have a sensational experience:
When you’re dining with someone, you’ll be naturally distracted by that person, especially during a conversation.
However, when you eat alone, nothing distracts you. Also, you’ll be able to focus on the meal, and the surroundings.
This focus will give you a sensational and high-quality dining experience.
You can eat at your speed:
When you dine with someone, you may be forced to eat at the same speed as the person with whom you’re dining.
In contrast, you don’t have to worry about eating too fast or too slowly when eating out alone. This eating pace will make your solo dining experience much more enjoyable.
You could order as much as you want to:
You are free to order as much as you desire.
There will be no one to judge you if you overeat. You can buy whatever you want without being bothered whether your guest likes it or they don’t. And above all, you won’t be blowing your budget to please someone else.
It’s easier to get seat reservations:
When you eat out alone, a high-chair seat is much easier to get than when you’re eating with others.
When dining with others, you will most likely have to wait for a lengthy period before you can get a seat.
You’re free to take photos:
When you eat out alone, you may be tempted to join the trend of taking pictures of your food because it’s grown so popular.
However, some of your friends may not like this picture trend. But if you eat out alone, you can snap as many pictures as you want till you’re pleased. There’s no need to rush; the photos are all yours!
You’ll meet new people:
When you dine together with friends, you’re usually not looking for new pals. Instead, you often eat out with your friends so you all can catch up, bond, and laugh.
However, when you eat out alone, there are no standards to meet, nobody to impress. These free standards help you to open yourself up to chatting with new people.
Ten Tips To Consider Eating Out Alone
Eating out alone can seem complicated if you’re not used to doing things like that. However, you’ll start feeling at ease over time.
Here are tips to help make the process easier.
Choose the restaurant in advance:
Picking a restaurant ahead of time increases your chances of a successful night out alone.
When it comes to dining alone, picking a restaurant at the last minute can be very challenging. Some of the challenges include roaming the streets, eating whatever looks nice or fancy.
Unfortunately, these random acts would result in you strolling the streets for a long time before becoming annoyed. After a futile, long walk down the road, you may return home frustrated.
Make sure you eat out alone at the right time:
It is advisable to dine a little before or after peak hours. Why? Peak hours usually have a high influx of customers. Therefore, restaurants generally take more orders than necessary during these hours.
In addition, if you’re nervous about eating alone, you’ll be much more anxious if you go to a restaurant during peak dining hours on the weekend. On weekends, restaurants get very busy, and the dining tables are usually few.
However, if you must eat out on weekends, arriving a bit earlier or later will be less stressful.
Study the restaurant’s menu ahead of time:
Taking a seat as a solitary diner is likely to have your mind running and unsettled. So while you may appear to be settled and attentively scanning the menu, your brain is most likely elsewhere.
If you have the opportunity to read the menu before you sit down, take advantage of it and decide. This decisive action will make your first ten minutes in the restaurant less stressful. In addition, it will eliminate the problem of panic order.
If you order and eat something good, you’ll be far more likely to want to return for another solo dining experience.
Consider your other dining options:
You should try out other alternatives if you’re a foodie or you’re tired of your eating habits. These alternatives can be a sandwich, a bottle of coke, a cup of ice cream, white bread, or crispy chips.
Talk to the waiters and bartenders:
Bartenders and servers are always there to talk to you if you can’t find somebody to talk to among the other diners. For example, the server could provide you with helpful information about the foods you’re eating.
Eating out alone allows you to spend more time with your waiter or chef. You’ll learn more about the menu, the dishes combination, the cocktail mix, as well as where they get their ingredients.
Take a book along:
Instead of drowning yourself in your phone, you can dine while reading a compelling tale or novel.
It may be pretty challenging to sit down and make headway on a book amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Taking a book with you to dinner may be the best way to read your anticipated books and fairy tales.
Take Your Time with Your Food:
Another tip to eating out alone is to savor the food. You can develop concentration by eating slowly.
A slow mode of eating helps you to pay attention to every taste. Therefore, you may tend towards being more attentive when you relax and eat a meal slowly.
Dining alone isn’t supposed to be hasty or rushed. But, unfortunately, the rush moments can take away from the memorable experience that the kitchen and bar worked so hard to create for you.
Allow yourself to relax, enjoy and savor the moments.
Careless about what other people think:
Forget what others think about people who dine alone at restaurants. They aren’t judging you, and no one is judging you either.
Not even the restaurant staff or your server is looking down on you because you’re eating alone. Servers and bartenders even enjoy your business and that you left a one-person mess to clean up.
Dine alone within your comfort zone:
When you don’t feel comfortable eating out alone, the idea of being watched even more might be scary. Therefore, start with consuming foods that you eat often.
If you’re dining out alone for the first time, that’s not the best time to learn how to handle chopsticks. As a first-time solo diner, order more pizza, barbeque, and chips.
Hold cash and have a spare change:
Eating out alone can be challenging, especially on the first few occasions. On these occasions, you’ll be so anxious to get back to your home or hotel after dinner.
When you’re a little tipsy from the liquor, waiting for the bill might feel like an eternity. To avoid this eternal wait, request the invoice as soon as possible.
You can even settle the bill by paying in cash with the proper denomination. Moreover, the cash payment saves time compared to paying with a credit card, especially in countries like Latin America.
Would you love to treat yourself to a five-star meal, but you don’t have anyone to go with you? Then, go ahead and book a seat for yourself. Eating out alone takes you on a self-discovery adventure.
Eating out alone can help you gain confidence, independence, and self-awareness. You’ll have more time to think and be more open to meeting new people.