Table for 1 please
For many of us, trying new things is a way of empowering ourselves into pushing our minds and bodies past what we know as normal thresholds. For others, doing what seems to be unsettling to some, is just a normal part of life. Take, for example, going to see a movie for the first time, but going by yourself…all alone. I remember my first time, I could feel the tension and nervousness mounting as I approached the ticket counter, the sweat building on my brow as I cautiously asked, “Ticket for one please”. I thought to myself, “You got this, no biggie… it’s dark anyway”! My saving grace was approaching the concessions stand (of course), trying to remember not to over order as if I was with other people. The movie itself was great, ran out of popcorn too early, and everything went off without a hitch. Dining alone in a restaurant, however, can be a little more challenging for some.
So, I decided to try this whole dining out alone thing, and I was again, somewhat nervous. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, what if I run into some people I know, or what is the server going to think of me just dining here by myself? In all actuality, it was a very pleasant experience. The server was very polite and not overbearing, catering to my questions and needs. I ordered a drink, an appetizer, main course and some desert. All the while, I was just watching some tennis on YouTube on my phone and the server even watched a little with me. To be honest, it was very relaxing having dinner by myself. I did a little reflection on how the service was and compared it to how I normally wait on a single diner, and it was the same. The key was service, not how many people in my party, but basic service.
Being a server at Kres Chophouse, the best steakhouse located in the heart of downtown Orlando, we see a lot of business travelers staying at nearby hotels looking for the best fine dining experience. It is not uncommon to see single diners sit at the bar, and of course, we do have patrons that prefer to sit amidst others in the main dining room. Providing exceptional service to a single diner can sometimes be tricky, as of course, you don’t want to focus on the fact that they are indeed dining alone. The most common approach in taking care of a single diner would be silent service. Often, they are immersed with work either on the phone or computer, obviously less conversation the better. However, sometimes they are truly there for the dining experience, an escape from the hotel or some lengthy meeting that just let out. It is the with the latter experience that I try to engage myself with the guest. I have had the pleasure of taking care of some of these guests, getting to know more about them, where they are from and what kind of business they are in. Not only is this a great way to network, but I have found that I do have repeat guests that venture into the restaurant when back in town. This is also a plus for Kres, the best restaurant in downtown Orlando as on several occasions, those guests have come back to see me while entertaining employees or prospective clients.
I sincerely look forward to my next solo dining experience as it has opened my eyes to the many possibilities of new dining spots. For me personally, asking for a table for 1 has unlocked a new sense of independence and adventure that seemed to lie dormant, but is now ready to be unleashed!
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