Up until recently solo dining was a rather daunting prospect, with most diners preferring to scoff a sandwich at their desk or order a takeaway, rather than taking the plunge and dining out alone. But over the last few years, things have changed and now more diners than ever are choosing to dine solo.
Our research shows that single cover reservations have more than doubled in the last two years and restaurants are finding new ways to cater for the growing number of solo diners. We discovered that 87% of Brits would have no problem dining out alone and just 7% said they would negatively judge someone they saw eating by themselves.
With our busy lives and hectic schedules, taking the time to enjoy a meal by yourself can be a great way to relax and enjoy a little ‘me time’. 46% of the people we surveyed said they would take along a book to read, while only 36% said they would play with their phone.
Judi James, one of the UK’s leading psychologists and body language experts, explains:
“It is no surprise that eating out alone is fast becoming an attractive idea. In a world where we are constantly in conversation with colleagues, clients, friends and family, either face to face or via social media, people are increasingly craving solitude. As a result, societal attitudes towards solo dining have changed and much of the stigma has been shed. Eating out alone is now viewed by many as a liberating, rather than lonely experience.”
So if you fancy a solo supper, where should you go? Our research showed that solo diners preferred restaurants where they can dine at a bar or counter, like London’s Bocca di Lupo, Blixen, The Riding House Café and Arbutus. Casual dining spots like Busaba and Tsuru also proved popular.
For more information and solo dining stats, please visit our Press Centre.