Many of us go to a restaurant with our friends or family.
Thus, the idea of dining alone can be awkward.
In fact, this is why many people fear traveling solo.
However, dining alone can be fun. Learn more about solo dining in this guide.
So, Is It Weird to Go to a Fancy Restaurant Alone?
The short answer is no. It isn’t weird to eat in a high-end restaurant alone. Well, it can feel awkward and intimidating at first. But, many tips can help you feel comfortable and confident dining solo in a restaurant.
Dining alone has various benefits. For instance, it can be a great way to unwind from the busy day you’ve had at work without talking to anyone. It also offers convenience as you don’t need a change of clothes from work to the restaurant near you. Once you get used to it, you will find yourself revisiting restaurants to explore their menu without guilt or awkwardness fully.
What It Feels to Dine Solo In A Fancy Restaurant
1. It Isn’t As Big A Deal As It Sounds
Everything feels and sounds weird before we attempt it.
Think of eating your favorite meal without adding ketchup like you are used to or eating half-cooked meat with some blood patches if you are used to eating fully cooked meat.
All these can look weird because you haven’t tried them before.
But as it turns out, dining solo isn’t that much of a deal.
Sure, food is a social event that brings friends and family together.
However, sometimes you want to enjoy some alone time and try different things without judgments or comments from people around you.
2. The Wait Staff Don’t Even Care That You Are By Yourself
One thing that discourages people from eating out solo is the judgmental eyes they will get from people around them.
Instead of worrying about the look you will get from other people, you should worry about what you’ll be doing as you await food.
Most solo eaters will bring reading material to keep them busy.
3. Other Diners Won’t Judge You
Sometimes one may want to dine alone but then gets scared of how other diners will look at them. In most cases, they are never concerned about you.
Remember that everybody is in the restaurant to eat and have a good time.
Now, while they can’t stop their eyes from looking around, they don’t care whether other people are eating alone.
However, because some might judge you, don’t let their thoughts affect you.
We should also mention that those sitting next to you may start talking to you.
It’s your choice whether or not to have a conversation.
Otherwise, you can be all alone the entire time.
4, You Will Have A Great Experience
Solo dining will only be difficult if you don’t like being alone.
But if you enjoy solo shopping, going to the gym, or buying groceries alone, you wouldn’t have a difficult time.
If anything, you will enjoy yourself since there won’t be anyone to make a scene about the food you ordered or bring up a topic you don’t want to discuss.
Seven Tips To Help You Feel Comfortable While Eating Alone
1. Research The Restaurant Before You Go
Researching a restaurant in advance boosts your confidence and increases the chances that you will have a fun experience dining alone.
Remember that eating solo is already intimidating for some people. But things can be worse if you choose the wrong location.
Sometimes you may think of going around the streets looking for a place suitable for you.
However, it will be long before you find a perfect place, and in most cases, you will get frustrated and decide to go home.
Researching a restaurant and knowing what to expect will give you peace of mind.
Plus, it increases your chances of going to dine alone as it’s the first step that you’re committing to the goal.
2. Book a Reservation
If you have opted for a busy place, it is wise to reserve a table to prevent you from being frustrated during your solo dinner date.
Reserving also makes you less anxious and more confident when you walk to the restaurant to eat alone.
When you reserve a table for a person, you will know what time to go to the restaurant as you will find your table ready then.
Booking a table beforehand also helps you avoid awkward questions. Also, you won’t need to walk to a restaurant and start finding a table.
3. Start Small
We’re all familiar with the saying, “don’t run before you walk.”
When it comes to solo dining, this means not going for dinner without trying lunch or breakfast first.
However, many of us have busy work schedules.
Therefore, the only time they are available is during dinner.
However, you will likely find other solo diners in the restaurant during breakfast and lunch.
This will allow you to build more confidence before you attend dinner, where most people are in pairs.
4. Avoid Peak Hours
When making a reservation, reserve before or after peak hours.
Many restaurants prefer to host two diners over one, especially during peak hours.
But this isn’t the main reason we advise you to go after or before peak times.
If you want to be less conspicuous, try to avoid going to the restaurant during this time.
This point is very important to people anxious about dining solo.
Your anxiety can worsen if there are many people around you.
So, you may want to avoid eating alone during the weekend or when the place is crowded.
Instead, go earlier or later to reduce the stress.
5. Check the Menu Before Going
Going out to a solo dinner can be stressful, and while it may look like you are studying the menu, there is so much in your head that your focus may not be there.
Studying the menu beforehand will be nice as you will already know what you want to order even before arriving.
This will prevent you from panic ordering.
Additionally, you will likely get a delicious meal when you order when relaxed.
Check whether the hotel has its menu online. If not, visit it during breakfast or lunch and study the menu.
6. Bring Something to Do
The most awkward part about dining alone in a restaurant is waiting for your ordered food. Some meals can take more than half an hour to be ready.
So, plan for what you will be doing as you wait. Otherwise, you will be aware that you are sitting alone in a restaurant, which can lead to anxiety.
As a solo eater, you must have a hobby you can enjoy from anywhere.
Ensure that you have restaurant-friendly hobbies that can keep you busy.
You can play games on your phone, write, read, or even edit your photographs.
Engaging in these activities will keep your hands and mind busy, and you won’t be stressed or anxious about being in a restaurant alone.
7. Dress Comfortably
Everyone has clothes that they are comfortable and confident wearing. We recommend wearing such clothes when going to a solo dinner. Please do not wear a new experimental outfit. If you are already uncomfortable eating alone, you don’t need to add to your discomfort by wearing uncomfortable clothes.
Eating alone in a fancy restaurant isn’t odd.
But, it can be if you are doing it for the first time.
Thankfully, the above tips can help increase your confidence and make you as comfortable when dining solo.