We all need to eat so why eat alone. Eat with your date! Food is AWESOME! Personally, I am not a foodie, but I love to chat and food plays a major role in building connections. It’s pretty simple. Food+People=Chatter.
When you include food on a date, it can be tricky because dining out can hugely influence
time, cost, atmosphere and emotional feelings. Dining with your date can be amazing or an epic fail leaving a horrible taste in your mouth. Yes, there are the risks, but the positives are: you don’t have to cook, change in atmosphere, and time to focus on the one across the table from you. Yes, no clean up!
On Friday, you may travel to your Cheers like spot, the menu is comforting, and you know before you enter your order item. Yes, that is easy and feels like your kitchen away from home, but I say switch it up, drive a different direction, and check out a new hot spot. Maybe, page through the local Go Guide or Style Mag for new ideas or post on Facebook: Where would you eat on a date night? People will share.
In my area, we have a huge diversity of dining options from the typical Friday’s to family owned Fegley’s BrewWorks to the elite like Melt. You may have to search it out, but it is in your town, too. If not, dine in and cook something different for a change. I love Blue Apron for a quick meal in a box. Okay. Sidetrack…dining out.
20 Ideas to Dine Out
- Italian (not Pizza)
- Farm to table
- Gourmet pizza shop
- Burrito joint
- Sub shop
- Farmers market
- Sushi Bar
- Train ride
- Food truck
- Hot dog stand
Planning is super essential!! It avoids the pre-date chaos of not knowing what to do. Normally, people like a plan in place, especially on a Friday and Saturday night. Your pre-thinking will relax your date and make the night feel meaningful because you took the extra time to set the night up for the two of you.
You may want to research the menu before you suggest the location, investigate prices (especially a 1st date), and double check if the environment. It is the worse when you are sitting in the cool, hip restaurant, but you didn’t realize there was going to be a live band and you wanted to talk about putting an addition on your home. Now you are screaming across the table, “I would love wood floors.” And your partner replies, “Wallpaper is great.”
If it is a weekend date, make a reservation. MAKE ONE! Make two if that makes you feel better. Then, when you suggest options your date feels in control of the date. Remember, you can cancel one and keep the other. You can also use apps like Open Table. Depending if you enjoy your drinks, you can call an Uber to drive you around town. Smart dates take Ubers! True that. Oh, yes check out GroupOn or LocalFlavor for deals. You may find coupons in a mailer, too. These steps should be done a week before or at least by Wednesday before the weekend.
Dining Out Questions
- What is the purpose of going out?
- Who are you taking?
- What food do you enjoy?
- What is the average price of the items?
- How long do you predict being at the location?
- Do you intend to do drinks, appetizers, coffee, or dessert?
- How much time do you have? Movies afterward?
- What do you want to do at the location? Talk? Dance? Chill? Food Critic?
- Do you have a second location after the restaurant?
- Can you walk or drive?
Food is super easy to discuss . Also, the location, decor and menu demands you to speak about tons of different talking points that are not hot topics. If you look around, you can comment on interior style, music, and the strange deer head mounted on the wall staring at you or note the music and guess the songs. Warning: You can destroy a date with saying, “hey let’s talk about bills.” Wrong. “Do you support our president-elect?” No, don’t do that. Stay on light topics like TV shows, events in the area, vacations, dreams, movies, pets, etc. This seems elementary, but it is so easy to go down the slippery slope into a deep sinkhole then you can’t get out. Avoid this date plunge as much as possible. To the new dater or the experienced, you are in control of the date so direct the talk to a destination you choose.
- If there is a bar, chill there for a while and enjoy either standing or sitting. By the way, it is nice to sit next to your date because probably for the next hour or so you will be across from each other staring and wishing you back at the bar.
- If there is a wait, have backup conversation starters ready or a plan b reservation waiting in the wing, not far for the 1st location. Oddly, most people hate to wait, so avoid the uncomfortable: “How long have we waited?” to “Oh let’s try this place around the corner. I heard they have excellent burgers.”
- Pick your seat if you can! Don’t accept the given table, take the lead and ask for the table in the corner away from the cold door, kitchen or the bathroom. I hate the bathroom table! You are paying to date so be picky. Your date will appreciate you owned the date!
Dining out has many variables that you can’t control, but that’s okay because your planning and ability to maneuver through the date will prove your expert skills allowing you to enjoy the best date ever. 🙂 Food is powerful, so is love. Try combining the two and see where it leads.