The stigma of solo dining

Why is there a stigma attached to dining alone? Whether you are in your home city or overseas, eating out on your own is still seen as socially unacceptable. It is almost as if they think that you cannot find someone to share with. 

Over the past decade, I have dined out in groups and on my own and noticed the reactions from other diners and waiters are different for each situation.

Many solo travellers I have met on the road admit to feeling like an alien when eating alone in restaurants. When they asked for a “table for one”, often the waiter will lead them to the table tucked away in the back close to the kitchen. Or in some cases the bathrooms. It was almost as if to say that a person on their own cannot be seen out front when potential couple customers walk by the window.

On a recent trip to Central Australia I did get offered a small table at the back of a popular casual cafe. But I asked if I could sit at one more towards the middle of the room. Surprisingly, the waiter agreed and I could enjoy the lively atmosphere around me.

However, not all restaurants are like this.

I have found several places which allow people eating out alone to enjoy a view and a good meal. In some cases, it has depended on the culture and generation of the restaurant.

I was curious to explore more about the reactions of solo dining, so I have just started separate Instagram page @TheSoloCafe. The page will be dedicated to documenting my experience and perceptions when I eat out – here in Adelaide, around Australia and overseas. I would love to hear what you think if you choose to stop by @TheSoloCafe.

I love eating out at different restaurants when I travel. Food is a great way to get to know a country and its people.

Tune in next week as I go into some of tips for successful solo dining.



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