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A Table for One, please

Do you cringe at the very thought of asking for a table for one in a restaurant? Dining solo is on the rise, especially amongst busy people wanting to enjoy a flavour of the restaurant scene without the social baggage of having to have someone to accompany them.

Dining on your own doesn’t seem to engender the same level of stigma in a cafe or fast food outlet. Grabbing a bite by yourself, perhaps for lunch, seems like a completely acceptable thing to do. In fact, when you sit down and look around you are more than likely to see at least one other person enjoying a snack or a meal on their own.

But once you cross that threshold from daytime into evening dining, why do we feel so awkward and ashamed to ask for a table for one?

We seem to be conditioned into the sociable aspect of evening dining. So much so that to consider eating out alone can cause us embarrassment and social awkwardness. There will be people reading this who will be thinking they wouldn’t mind getting a table to themselves in McDonalds but wouldn’t even consider walking into a restaurant in the evening and asking for a table for one.

There’s no doubt about it, you will often get a questioning look from waiting staff and restaurant hosts when you ask for a table for one. You can nearly hear their brain try to work it out as that look spreads across their face. “Does not compute. Error. Error.”

It’s a result of it not being the norm. They don’t hear it often enough to treat it as a normal request.

Sometimes you can see them trying to work it out. Is he/she single? Does he/she not have any friends that they could ask out for dinner? I’m going to have to give this one person a table for two but only get half the cash.

Series NavigationPart 2 - What can you expect at a Table for One? >>

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