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Is it Weird to Go to a Restaurant Alone? 6 Tips For Eating Out Alone

Admit that it’s a little frightening for you to go to a restaurant alone. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one. 

Many people find it extremely awkward to go to a restaurant alone.

Is it weird to go to a restaurant alone? No, it’s not weird at all. As much as it seems like a highly social activity.

Man having breakfast or dinner in a restairant alone

It is absolutely irrelevant to our body whether we eat alone or in the company of others, but our brain prefers company while eating.

In all cultures, there has always been that aspect of having lunch together as a form of social bonding.

And we all indeed like to eat in company.

All important events are celebrated with a joint meal.

But even when it’s an entirely ordinary random day, we want to eat with family or friends so we can talk about how our day was, how the food tasted, and so on.

A shared meal is like a ritual where we all come together.

We can’t always eat with others, and surely you eat some meals at home alone.

It’s easy to eat alone at home. Try eating alone in a restaurant where everyone will stare and judge you because of that.

And we are talking about a fancy restaurant, not a bakery or a fast food restaurant.

It’s time to break the stigma that eating alone in a restaurant is weird and prove that it’s not as bad as it seems.

How Does it Feel to Eat Alone in a Restaurant?

Woman smiling while sitting alone in a restaurant

What exactly is it that makes you uncomfortable going to a restaurant alone?

Are you already wondering what to do if you eat lunch alone before coming to the restaurant?

It’s about other people in the restaurant. Their perception of you coming alone to the restaurant worries you.

You’re actually worried about coming off as weird or a loser for coming alone to eat.

Even the very look of the waiter when you tell him “Table for one” is sad. It’s like he feels sorry for you.

Then that walk of shame to that lonely table for one person. It’s as if time has stopped, and everyone is only looking at you and feeling sorry for you.

After that anxiety, when you sit down, you can’t even enjoy eating because you are burdened by the opinions of others.

It’s time to snap out of it because we have incredible news for you that will blow your mind.

The other people in the restaurant don’t care about you as much as you think they do.

Let’s take, for example, you come to the restaurant but this time with your friends or family.

Do you pay attention to people who come alone? Maybe you just notice them, and that’s it.

You don’t go into deep analysis of why they are alone, where their life has gone wrong, so they must be alone in a restaurant as if that is the worst possible fate.

Unless it was someone you liked, you wouldn’t remember long that brave restaurant visitor who came alone.

6 Tips For Making The Most Out of Eating Out Alone

Girl drinking coffee, dining alone and smiling in a restaurant

It’s time for you to realize that you’re not going to be some weirdo because you decide to eat alone at a restaurant.

These tips will help you with that.

1. Nobody Cares

This is the most crucial tip. Everything else falls apart if you don’t understand this.

Nobody cares that you eat alone in a restaurant.

Even if someone does care, that’s their problem because they’re obviously too interested in other people’s lives.

What if someone has no one to come to the restaurant with? Is that a reason to feel sorry for him?

2. Don’t Worry About Other People’s Opinions

This tip directly follows the previous one.

You can’t limit yourself just because you’re afraid of what others think.

It won’t just be a restaurant, you’ll feel weird going to the cinema alone, to a concert and so on.

One interesting fact is: have you noticed that you feel worse when you are alone in front of people you know?

It is uncomfortable for you to sit alone in a restaurant in the city where you live because you know that someone who knows you will be there and then he will make some conclusions about why you came to the restaurant alone.

Yet, when you go to another city, you don’t care if anyone sees you alone in a restaurant because no one knows you.

It’s a liberating feeling, isn’t it? Why not apply it everywhere then?

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all”

— Ann Landers

3. Choose a Restaurant and Lunchtime That Suits You

Nothing is better than when you can decide for yourself when it is most convenient for you to go to lunch.

Think about how often you had to wait for your friends to show up.

Or worse, did you have to order food for them because they were running late?

If you have a different taste in food, it is possible to argue about the best place to go for lunch.

Let’s say you like Italian food and your friend likes Chinese food, sometimes you will have to agree to go to a restaurant where you don’t want to at that moment.

When you choose a restaurant yourself, you don’t have those problems; you decide what you want to eat the most.

4. Go to a Restaurant For Breakfast or Lunch First

If you are uncomfortable going to a restaurant alone and want to visit that new restaurant near you, don’t go to dinner first.

Breakfast and lunch are more casual than dinners.

Dinners are more romanticized.

Somehow, you are more expected to come to the restaurant with a date or group of friends in the evening than during the day.

But it still stands by what we said: you should go whenever you want. 

This is just for starters while you loosen up, then go and have dinner alone too.

5. Talk to The Staff

In many restaurants, the staff will be happy to talk to you.

That way, you can find something interesting about the food you are ordering and maybe get a hint on what is best on the menu.

If the conversation comes naturally, talk to other people in the restaurant.

That way you can meet some new and exciting people.

Many great friendships and great loves begin that way.

Even if you think you’re bad at talking to others, this can be a great exercise to improve your conversational skills.

6. Have Something to Do While You Wait For Your Food

Since you have no one to talk to because you are alone, have something to entertain you while you wait for your food.

The first thing that will come to your mind is the phone.

The phone can indeed help you kill boredom while waiting for your order.

If you don’t want to look at your phone all the time (while everyone around you is doing it, even if they are in the company of others), you can bring a book and read while you wait.

Pro tip: Bring a laptop and finish some of your responsibilities.

We know you came for lunch to relax, but answer those boring emails that have been sitting in your inbox for a long time.

You’ll enjoy your delicious food, even more when you finish some boring chore while waiting for it.

7. Enjoy Your Meal

Woman enjoys a healthy meal alone in a restaurant

Isn’t that the whole point of coming to a restaurant?

When you eat alone, you eat at your own pace and as it suits you.

Have you noticed how sometimes you eat faster because the other person is eating fast?

If you are a slow eater, take the time you need, you don’t have to rush because there is no one to rush you.

Bonus Tip: Learn to Value Your Own Company More

Like it or not, you’re stuck with yourself.

Maybe you’re bored when you’re alone, or you’re afraid of other people’s opinions. At worst, you’re even depressed when you’re alone.

You can’t depend on others to do something you want to do.

It’s not just about going to a restaurant. It’s about seeing life as a whole.

It’s nice to go to a restaurant with friends, but why not enjoy a great meal when you come alone to the restaurant too?

All Things Considered

We think this article can help you understand that going to a restaurant alone is not weird.

Eating alone in a restaurant does not mean that you are a loser, but that you have self-confidence, are independent, and enjoy your own company.

Keep that in mind, and enjoy a delicious meal that you will eat alone at your favorite restaurant. Bon Appetit!