Future Inn Solo Dinners Chophouse - released 26th September 2014
The number of solo diners is increasing and if restaurants fail to make these customers feel comfortable they could miss out on a growing portion of the UK's eating-out market.
The number of solo diners is increasing and if restaurants fail to make these customers feel comfortable they could miss out on a growing portion of the UK’s eating-out market.
Of the 26.4 million households in the UK in 2013, 29% of these consisted of only one person and it seems that in our modern times people are less concerned about eating out alone. A study by O2 earlier this year found that 53 per cent of diners are happy to eat alone if they can browse the internet, check emails and connect with friends.
A huge 80% of customers at The Chophouse restaurant at Future Inn Bristol are lone diners. Staff there have been briefed to make extra efforts to be more attentive to solo diners if they appear to require it, offering a wider selection of seating locations and a newspaper along with removing unrequired place settings.
Such is the growth in confidence and need to dine out alone, Eenmaal restaurant, where all tables are laid up solely for one person and a fixed price menu is on offer, opened in London this year. The restaurant chain has already seen success in Amsterdam and is trialling pop-ups in other cities as well as our capital.
Bristol’s Chophouse restaurant has also introduced a new menu with solo diners in mind. It provides a greater choice of meals including items that can be prepared quicker such as Steak and Onion Pudding or Goat’s Cheese Risotto Cakes, should customers request a speedier restaurant experience.
“Some guests are very content being on their own and do not want to be disturbed, others are more interactive with staff. Of course there are clues to determine which type of guest we are looking after. Many of our solo guests are men that travel for business 3 to 4 days a week and we find that they enjoy homemade comfort food. Therefore we run a specials menu along our a la carte; currently our Head Chef Michael McCarlie is creating hearty autumn selections which will include classics such as Toad in the Hole, Roasted Shoulder of Pork, Steak and Guinness Pie. We do also have healthier options should the guest be watching their travel-induced waistline” said Alicja Berthon, General Manager of Future Inn Bristol.
Earlier this year the Allegra Foodservice Eating-Out Market Review forecast a 3% value increase in the eating-out sector and restaurant owners would be wise to ensure that their locations are welcoming for all types of guest including the solo diner.