The Rise of Solo Dining: Exploring Global Trends and Practices

Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift in dining habits worldwide. The rise of solo dining, once considered an oddity, is now a global trend. This shift is driven by various factors, including changing societal norms, increased travel, and the rise of single-person households. This article explores the rise of solo dining, its global trends, and practices, and how restaurants are adapting to this change.

The Rise of Solo Dining

According to a report by OpenTable, an online restaurant-reservation service, there has been a 62% increase in solo dining reservations in the United States over the past two years. This trend is not limited to the US; it is a global phenomenon. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the number of solo diners has doubled in the past three years. In Asia, solo dining is also on the rise, with countries like Japan and South Korea leading the way.

  • Changing societal norms: The stigma associated with dining alone is fading. People are becoming more comfortable with the idea of enjoying a meal by themselves.

  • Increased travel: With more people traveling for work or leisure, the number of solo diners has increased. Travelers often find themselves dining alone in foreign cities.

  • Rise of single-person households: The number of single-person households is on the rise globally. This demographic shift has contributed to the increase in solo dining.

How are Restaurants Adapting?

Restaurants are recognizing the rise of solo dining and are adapting their services to cater to this growing customer base. Here are some ways restaurants are changing:

  • Design changes: Restaurants are redesigning their spaces to accommodate solo diners. This includes adding more bar seating, communal tables, and smaller tables.

  • Menu changes: Some restaurants are offering smaller portion sizes or tapas-style menus that are more suitable for solo diners.

  • Technology: Restaurants are using technology to enhance the solo dining experience. For example, some restaurants offer tablets for ordering, entertainment, or reading.


The rise of solo dining is a global trend that is reshaping the restaurant industry. As societal norms continue to evolve and more people embrace the idea of dining alone, restaurants will need to continue adapting their services to meet the needs of this growing customer base. Whether you’re a solo diner by choice or circumstance, the world is becoming a more welcoming place for those who choose to dine alone.