Accommodating the Solo Diner

#solodining is trending. Are we prepared enough?

Is eating alone at a wonderful restaurant for “lonely people”? In the modern day, this is far from the truth, with many individuals preferring to indulge in experiences by themselves. Eating alone, today is a luxury niche and not everyone can afford it.  It is charged double in small, exquisite restaurants when compared to dining as couples or groups (Rayner, 2023). It is, therefore, one of life’s sublime pleasures; a delicate plate of food and a crispy bottle of wine, and to go with that, you don’t have to share!

Why is #solodinining popular among the new generation?

Did you know?

More financial independence among the new generation, especially women, changed the social attitudes towards solo dinning.

Manhattan, New York alone produced over 3,000 solo dining restaurant options.

Hotels and restaurants can prepare for #solodining in several ways

1. Communal seating arrangements imply that lone diners are not alone and that every guest is welcome.   

2. Tasting menus suit solo diners with smaller plates and portion sizes.  
3. Offering the restaurant to solo diners as a workstation.  
4. Avoid assumptions and use polite tone and language when serving the solo diners.
5. You never know who you are serving. It could be a potential guest trying out a restaurant for the next big gathering.
6. Solo diners are a compliment for a restaurant and convey that it’s worth eating alone. Solo diners can therefore be given a seat at the bar or closer to the open kitchen—it’s the best opportunity to make a connection.  

Technology orientation is the best way to handle #solodining

  • Using the Point-of-Sale system to record solo diner purchase behaviour and offer combos/ menu items for their most preferred dishes.
  • Record diner preferences, dining times and repeat diner behaviour to understand solo diner trends and optimise menus, pricing and happy hours accordingly.
  • Table reservation software can assist solo diners to reserve their favourite spot at their favourite times and find the most preferred restaurant brand to indulge in alone time.
  • Maintaining a database of solo diners visiting a restaurant can help plan capacity more efficiently.
  • Enable online ordering options for those who prefer to pre-order, or contactless and have minimal interactions with the staff.

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