Last night I had dinner at this very nice restaurant called Haros, which is located just across the street from where I am staying. It was recommended by our client and since they will be paying for it eventually, I wanted to check it out.
I walked in and I was greeted by a receptionist. Here's how the conversation went:
Receptionist: Hello, welcome to Haros.
Me: Hi, I would like a table for one please.
Receptionist: (At this time, Receptionist looks at another colleague and said) Oh ok, ahhh table for one - here please ( and showed me a table near a half wall)
Me: Would it be possible if I could sit by the glass wall? (so I can look outside and watch the sailboats and etc)
(As the Receptionist help me with my seat he said)
Receptionist: What does a beautiful young lady doing here without a date?
(Ok I was shocked! Can't I eat alone? Do I have to have someone with me to eat? Do I have to have a man who will pay for my food? I have money too you know! This is a free country for crying out loud!!!)( Of course I didn't say that to his face, I just said)
Me: Oh I am not from here, I am here for business.
Receptionist: Oh, where are you from? (I think he felt like he had to chat with me)
Me: I am from Toronto
Receptionist: Oh that's great, what business are you here for?
Me: I am a software consultant. (Then he tells me again that John will be coming in a minute)
(So the infamous waiter John came, I ordered the chicken gnocchi and a caramel something dessert , which was the special of the day)( I also ordered a glass of rose')
(As I was just sitting there, enjoying my wine while watching the sailboats and the water and everything else, John came back and said:
John: We do have some reading materials, would you like a newspaper, we also have an Eat Magazine? Something to read while you're waiting for your food?
Me: Hmmmmm, sure the magazine would be great.
John: Absolutely! (then he goes to the reception area and I could see that the Receptionist already had the magazine ready for John to take to me)(oh my food came so fast that I think John asked the chef to cook my food first, so I would have something to do - hahaha)
So the point of this story is to make all people aware, not just waiters, but everyone that it's ok to go to a restaurant and eat by yourself!
I could see the receptionist and John getting all stressed out trying to think of other ways to entertain me so I won't feel awkward- it's like taboo to be sitting alone in a restaurant.
I wanted to tell them both, that "Hey it's ok, don't panic, I am here by myself and I am enjoying my company, I just want to relax, capish?" "And that you don't need to come and see me every 5 minutes to chat with me, I am comfortable by myself"
Nevertheless the food was good and I had a great time - on my own!!!