Solodiner Tip WINNERS
To read the winning tips for 2004, click: 2004.
THE How-to Booklet of Solo Dining Tips & Strategies:
The Art and Satisfaction of Dining Alone — REVEALED!
Some people need an excuse to start eating out alone. I hope by sharing some of my great experiences meeting people, they'll want to give it a try:
While having breakfast in Bellingham, Kansas, the sheriff spotted my out-of-state car, sat next to me, opened a conversation and proceeded to tell me all about Kansas, his plans for the week, etc.
Over lunch in the Rocky Mountains, I met a retired couple who were from my home state.
When I was having dinner on a train, I met an actress.
J. Sinker — Marietta, Georgia
I must admit that, as a frequent solo diner, I don't notice when things go well, but I REALLY notice it when things DON'T go so well — like when the greeting restaurant person shouts out across the restaurant: "SO YOU'RE EATING ALONE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!???????!!!!"
This is not a tip, but something I, and I believe others, would like to see happen in restaurants:
I would like restaurants to ask a solo if he or she would mind sharing a table when it is crowded. Then they should mix people on first-come, first-served basis. This would help to make this seating known and accepted.
J. King — Beverly Hills, California
I seldom dine alone for dinner now, because I'm married. However, I still do at lunchtime. Sometimes because I'm on a business assignment, but most times for the relaxation and the opportunity to read.
N. Brown — Lincoln, Nebraska
Here are the circumstances that prompted me to try dining alone:
I was on a weekend tour in France and tired of experiencing things as part of a group. I broke off and went on my own to have a meal
The experience was truly a brilliant one! I had fabulous conversations with waiters and patrons alike.
M. Likas — Glendale, California
If you are ignored for an unreasonable length of time, be pleasantly assertive — don't wait to become enraged, i.e. "get up" and get the clean fork or whatever; but tip 10 cents. (Why should "you" have the churning tummy?)
J. Livonian — Beverly Hills, California
Dining alone has offered me an opportunity to wind down. It also provided me with uninterrupted time to catch up on work or practice lecture notes or prepare for board meetings.
I make a practice of sitting off to the side, but not along a heavy traffic area such as to the bathrooms.
E. Jones — New York, New York
Look around and immerse yourself in your surroundings.
Enjoy the feeling of well-being you'll get when you have a good time dining alone.
M. Hughes — Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Here's how to spice up solo dining and make it more fun:
If you go to a good restaurant that is very crowded, ask the manager or waiter to ask a good-looking solo diner of the opposite sex if it would be alright to share the table.
This is a good way to meet someone, get quicker service and have a nice meal without being alone!
L. Leighton — Tucson, Arizona
Take a book or magazine or something to write on to plan things or whatever. The point is to be occupied so you're not staring into space while waiting for your meal.
H. Jacobs — Bakersfield, California
Don't leave anything to chance. Research before you go; don't make it your job to educate a restaurant.
When you do go, be specific and firm about where you want to sit.
A. Heffernan — New York, New York
If you can, try to sit at a more secluded booth or table, OR, if it's available, at a communal table where people can meet.
I "hate" to sit at the counter!
P. Smith — Apple Valley, California
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