Dining-alone

What to do when dining alone (contd)

6. Don?t sit me in the middle of the restaurant like I?m the main attraction in a freak show. Then again, don?t stick me in a corner either. What I?d like is a view of the goings-on without being the focal point.7. Do provide me with the same options you provide larger tables. Water top-ups, information about the day?s specials, that sort of thing.

8. Do suggest some scaled-down menu items like dishes that lend themselves to half portions.

9. Don?t assume that I want to eat and run. I may have come to your restaurant because of the ambience and the busy atmosphere, not just to satisfy my hunger.

10. Don?t assume that I want the house wine. I?m alone, not undiscerning.

11. Don?t rush me or ignore me.

12. Don?t be too overly friendly thinking that you have to compensate for my lack of a companion.

I?ve found that the best trick to use when dining alone at a restaurant is to take along a small note pad and take notes throughout the meal. The staff will wonder if you?re a restaurant reviewer, even though, in reality, you could be writing your to-do list for the next day, or penning your latest literary masterpiece. You get great service and some things done for yourself.

By Gina Luca

* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.

October 28, 2003

What to do when dining alone

Gina Luca has some top tips for chicks who find themselves in the sometimes daunting position of dining out alone…

I love company, especially when I’m enjoying a really good meal, but there are inevitably times in most people’s lives, when they have to dine alone. I’m the type of person who doesn’t mind accosting a fellow diner and asking them to join me if they look like they too, are glancing around the room, hoping no one notices their solitary status.

On my travels, I’ve notched up a list of pet peeves about dining alone, and while I’ve been sitting by myself, partaking of the menu, I’ve had plenty of time to consider a list of dos and don’ts that I wish restaurant personnel would consider.

1. Do greet me warmly. Sure I’m alone, but that doesn’t mean it’s because I’m too unsociable to have any friends to join me!

2. Don’t yell to my waiter as I arrive, “Table for one!!” I don’t necessarily want to attract attention to myself.

3.Just in case, do offer me the option of joining someone else for my meal. Who knows? I might just meet someone hugely interesting who is also alone.

4. Don’t assume that because it’s just me, my table won’t be a profitable one. I eat a lot! And I always have dessert! I’m not one of those “I’ll just have a salad” types. No sirree, I’ll have an entree, a main, the gooey-est dessert possible and a coffee to wash it all down, thanks.

5. Do remove the extra place setting/s before I sit down so as not to advertise to all and sundry that no one’s with me. It also gives me extra space to lay out my newspaper. Ok so I don’t read the newspaper at all meals, but at brekky time, you can’t beat the local broadsheet for company over bacon and eggs.

October 22, 2003