Last week I spent a few nights staying in hotels as I needed to travel for work. This resulted in walking to the adjacent restaurant and requesting a table for one.
This has a small perk, as I don’t have any physical human contact I managed to reach out to friends who had been somewhat neglected as life ran away with me. But then you become that sad person who is glued to their phone until a meal comes, which you inevitable bolt down as there is no one there to hold a conversation with.
This is where my genius solution comes in. I know, a blog with a solution rather than a whole post moaning.
Hotels, can check the bookings and clock the solo travellers. Some nights this might be lots, other nights a few, but why don’t they offer a solo traveller table. I should probably say this solution is perhaps best for the professional traveller, but this isn’t a strict rule.
Get a big table and make a reservation for 6.30pm and 8 pm and when people book give them the option to sit with strangers. This is much like a blind date, but hopefully, with more than one person, in case you’re not compatible. This would work particularly well if there is a conference in town and you can network the night before this conference kicks off.
Frequent travelling isn’t a sociable experience, no one dare speak on a train except to tell you you’re in their seat. The waiter doesn’t really have the time to get your life story, your double bed for one doesn’t even come with a complimentary teddy, so why not offer up a dinnertime companion?
This doesn’t have to be restricted to the professional traveller, open it up to the local community, particularly the elderly who can get lonely and allow them the key opportunity to socialise but also share their life wisdom (or pessimism) with the younger generation.
This has the added benefit of reducing the number of tables laid up for 2, for only one person to sit there. Or a complete stranger sitting opposite you but three tables away and awkwardly in your eye line. Have them next to you, chat a bit, then when you chow down on your ribs it isn’t as awkward.