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Table for one? Popularity of solo dining doubles

10 July 2015 by
Table for one? Popularity of solo dining doubles

Dining alone is becoming an increasingly common practice, with solo reservations more than doubling over the past two years.

That's according to reservations website OpenTable, which says it has seen a 110% jump in bookings for one over the past 24 months.

A OnePoll survey of 2,000 diners also found that 87% of Brits would have no problem eating out by themselves, and that for 42%, the biggest motivation for dining solo is to enjoy some time alone.

Of those surveyed, 46% said they would read a book while eating, while 36% admitted that they would play with their phone.

Some 5% of women said they would pretend they were waiting for someone to join them, as opposed to 3% of men.

Only 5% stated that they would call a friend to join them.

Mike Xenakis, managing director, OpenTable, said: "Restaurants across the globe are increasingly accommodating the rise in dining alone by installing clever solo seating arrangements, such as extra bar seating, counters where customers can watch chefs work and single window seating, to enjoy a view whilst eating their meal."

Psychologist Judi James added: "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."

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