Solo Diners Eat Out Week

Eating by yourself in a restaurant is an activity that has been looked down upon by some people for many years. And that’s mainly due to how the media has portrayed solo dining. In movies and TV shows, solo dining has often been shown as something that’s done by lonely people, or people who don’t have any friends or family.

Unfortunately, that stereotype hurts people who actually prefer dining alone or find it more convenient than dining out with another person. That’s why the week of February 1st through 7th has been set aside on the calendar as Solo Diners Eat Out Week. This is a week when solo diners can take pride in themselves and head out to eat a meal by themselves.

The History of Solo Diners Eat Out Week

During the 18th and 19th centuries, it wasn’t uncommon for people to dine alone. In fact, it was perfectly acceptable for people to do so. It was also seen as a symbol of luxury, as the rich could afford to pay for a private portion of a restaurant, while an average worker might not be able to do so.

After the American Civil War, restaurants began to remove communal dining tables and instead allowed people to have tables for themselves. As restaurants set up tables for people, they usually sat two or more at a table. This is when the stigma against solo dining really began to take hold.

Since people didn’t have to eat at one large communal table, they could spread out across a restaurant. The restaurants saw this as okay for couples or for larger groups of people, but they began to feel that one person dining at a table was a waste of space. This is when couples’ dining became normalized.

By the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, fine dining establishments created rules that didn’t allow women to dine in restaurants without men. If a man didn’t accompany a woman, then most times she would not be allowed into the restaurant.

Although this caused a backlash that would end the practice of denying “unaccompanied women” access to a restaurant, the stigma against solo dining would remain for many decades. This is why sometime during the 1980s or 1990s, Solo Diners Eat Out Week was established and has been observed ever since.

Observing Solo Diners Eat Out Week

This is the day for solo diners to raise their heads high and go out to a restaurant on their own. People are more than capable of enjoying a meal without company, and this holiday proves that point succinctly. So head out there and enjoy a meal by yourself. And while you’re doing so, don’t forget to use the hashtag #SoloDinersEatOutWeek on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 1 Thursday
Next year (2025)
February 1 Saturday
Last year (2023)
February 1 Wednesday
Food & Drinks