"Table for one please."
This phrase, though common, is loaded with stigma and quickly earns the disapproving look of a hostess. "Why don't you have any friends?" "Do you have something contagious?" "Are you the Zodiac killer?"
Well here's the deal: we were born alone, and we will die alone. Also, inevitably, we will eat alone, too. Orson Welles probably said the first thing, but he DEFINITELY said the second. And though one is the loneliest number, eating alone at restaurants is becoming more and more popular. According to reservation monolith Open Table, reservations for one have risen 62% over the last two years, meaning that eating alone has potentially reached an all-time peak. See! You aren't as pathetic as you thought.
"As dining out has become one of our national pastimes, solo diners are taking every opportunity to visit top restaurants whenever they get the opportunity, much as they might attend a sporting event or show," said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable. "Solo dining is about treating yourself to a delicious experience and savoring every bite. From communal and counter seating to doting table service, restaurants are welcoming parties of one with open arms." According to Open Table's press release, the top three cities for solo diners are Dallas, Miami and Denver -- in that order.
What does this spike in stag dining tell us about modern society? It probably means that most people would rather eat in the company of their smartphones than actually have to converse in real life with another human. Which is understandable. Have you guys seen Narcos? That show is awesome. Also, mobile porn.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. He never eats, alone or otherwise. Follow him @wilfulton
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.