Single Diners

I have mentioned on many occasions that you never want to assume anything about a customer.

In that particular post (if you didn’t feel like clicking on it to read it), I talk briefly about the single diner and how you never know who is going to be a potential long term, repeat client. In that example I point to a customer who came in as a single diner who we schmoozed and who ended up becoming one of our most loyal customers–spending a lot of money, and sending us many customers, for many years.

Don’t ignore me

Just because people come in to dine by themselves does not mean that they have leprosy. Or any other disease. You’ve never eaten out by yourself? What do you do when you wife or husband or boyfriend or girlfriend are out of town, or have to work? Starve?

Too many times I have observed single patrons being ignored. Restaurant employees walk by them as if they are invisible. I see it in restaurants. I see it in bars.

I watch as single diners are ignored at the front door by host staffs, I watch as single customers are ignored by bartenders, I watch as single diners are ignored by servers.

I don’t get it

As I have also mentioned before, their money is as green as anyone else’s.


Isn’t it enough just to see that customers enjoy themselves in your establishment? In my many years of restaurant service, I always made it a point to treat all customers the same. Whether that was the mayor, the garbageman, or yes, even that single diner.

In fact, I always felt it was more important to make sure those single diners had a good time. No one likes to eat alone. So put an extra effort into seeing that they are comfortable and have everything they need. And when you have time, make a point to go over and chat them up. And not just to get a bigger tip. But what do I know…

Too many servers are motivated solely by the tip potential. I know it is hard to get big tips from single diners, so often the result is to not put forth the effort. Train your staff that the expectation is that all customers will be given the best treatment possible. Even that single diner.


All customers who are willing to spend money in your restaurant are alike, and deserve nothing but the very best service.


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