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Eating Alone

The Art Of Dining Alone

Unfortunately, many people have mixed feelings about dining alone. Some may see it as a lonely task, while others may enjoy the alone time. Whether you’re the former, the latter, or somewhere in between, here are some tips to improve your solo dining experience.

People Watch
Who doesn’t love to people watch? You can pick an outdoor table or sit on the patio and watch the people go by. If you would rather retreat and not be seen, you can request a seat in the back of a restaurant or against a wall to blend in better.

Do you keep a journal? If you do, when was the last time you wrote it in? If you don’t, why not start one now? Writing in a restaurant can keep you from worrying about people judging you and it can also help you reflect on different aspects of your life. It’s also a great way to pass time while you wait for your food.

Not a writer? Pick up a book instead. You can get lost in a story to distract yourself, and it’s a great way to finally finish any books you’ve been reading.

Catch Up
You can also use this time to call or text your friends and family you haven’t spoken to in a while. Return missed calls, reply to old texts, or simply catch up with a friend or family member. Just remember your phone etiquette if there are other tables nearby.

Sit At The Bar
Sitting at the bar allows you to feel less alone. You can chat with the bartender or meet new people at the bar. You may even be able to watch television if there is one.

Treat Yourself
You can consider taking yourself out as a form of self care. You can treat yourself to a nice meal, maybe even splurge with an appetizer, dessert, or both. Eating alone can allow you to practice mindful eating, a skill that can benefit you for the rest of your life.

Savor The Moment
Dining alone allows you to be present, as other people are often a (good) distraction. Rather than spending time chatting as your food gets cold, you can enjoy the food you are eating while still warm. As mentioned, you can practice mindfulness throughout the meal.

Look Good, Feel Good
While you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to, you should dress in something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You may look into the dress code of the restaurant (if any), just so that you don’t show up under- or over-dressed.

Plan Ahead
To avoid having to wait around, and potentially make your experience longer, pick out your order beforehand so that you can order when the server comes around. And then, ask for the bill before you finish eating to avoid any waiting around for the check later.

Be Grateful
Dining alone isn’t as bad as people may think. There are worse situations, and you may even see some when you look around the dining room. When you’re flying solo, at least you know you’re in good company.

You can dine alone or catch up with friends or family at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Enjoy a yummy sandwich or fresh salad in our dining room or our outdoor patio. Visit us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays from 8:00am-4:30pm. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Restaurant Tips For Dining Alone

Sure, it’s great to grab a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant with a friend or loved ones, but sometimes it’s good to go solo. Dining out alone may seem uncomfortable or intimidating, but it can be quite exhilarating and fun.

Enjoying a meal alone can give you some much needed solitude and allow you time to be alone with your thoughts and ideas. Instead of focusing on small talk and entertaining a guest, you can focus on your meal and surroundings.

If the thought of dining solo in a restaurant or café frightens you, here are some tips on how to ease yourself into feeling comfortable dining alone.

Pick The Meal
If it is your first time dining out alone and you’re a bit wary, you may want to opt for lunch instead of dinner. That way there will be less of a crowd and likely less waiting time.

You may want to plan around a potential lunch rush, or even opt for brunch hours or the post-lunch/pre-dinner window.

If your nerves are really getting the best of you, scope out the restaurant crowd by ordering take out, and then commit to a sit down meal for your next visit.

Select The Restaurant
For solo dining, you may want to skip the crowded date-night hot spots and big, loud restaurants in the evening. Aim for a quieter, more relaxed spot like a laidback café or opt for a restaurant with a bar. You are less likely to feel rushed to give up your spot, and if you take a seat at the bar, you can chat with the bartender if you feel so inclined.

What To Wear
Wear what makes you feel good, whether it be your Sunday’s best or a casual outfit (but be mindful of possible restaurant dress codes). If you’re nervous about dining out alone, feeling comfortable and confident may help.

Where to Sit
When the hostess knows it’s a party of one, they will likely guide you to a suitable table, but some places allow you to choose.

If you’ve found a café or restaurant with a bar, pull up a stool – it’ll be less conspicuous that you’ve ventured out alone. You may even be able to strike up a conversation with other lone diners or the bartender if you’d like.

If you like to meet new people, community tables can be another great way to get a conversation going. These are not always single diners, but being able to sit face to face with others may be better to facilitate small talk.

What To Bring
If you’re striking out at striking a conversation, and people-watching gets old, you may want to have a backup plan. Reading is a great way to pass time. A paperback, Kindle, iPad or even your phone are great companions for a solo dinner.

Placing Your Order
Since you are essentially taking yourself on a date, go ahead and treat yourself. Order something you wouldn’t normally splurge on, or try a few items that caught your eye. Without the normal distractions, you can practice mindful eating, paying careful attention to each bite and really savoring your meal.

Share your own solo dining experiences and tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet meal alone or want to enjoy the company of friends, you can do so at the Brick! We’ve got plenty of seats in our dining area as well as on our pet-friendly patio. Visit us weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.