Whether a person is planning to dine alone or with a large group of people, choosing the best place to go is not always an easy task. An individual may not wish to eat in a restaurant famous for its romantic atmosphere if he or she is stuck in something of a dry spell. Roommates may argue endlessly about what type of cuisine they want. A group of coworkers who seek cocktails with lunch might feel out of place in a pizza restaurant that primarily serves young children. By considering a few key details before making a decision, virtually anyone can learn to make optimal dining choices. Here are some tips that will help make deciding where to eat easier for everyone.
Consider the Company
One of the top factors involved in deciding where to hold any dining excursion is the number of people who are going. A couple may find it easier to agree on a restaurant than a family with several children of varying ages. If an individual is planning a meal for a group, making a reservation is advisable for parties of 6 or more.
Along with thinking about the number of people dining together, a person should consider the circumstances related to the outing. If two people are going out for a first date, they may want to choose a place that provides a relatively intimate setting; plenty of candlelight and tables dressed in heavy linen could be ideal. On the other hand, if two individuals have not yet met each other before their first date, they may want to meet in a restaurant that is more lively and casual. The context of the occasion is not to be neglected when choosing a location!
Think About Food Preferences
Food preferences are another important consideration when choosing a dining establishment. Planning a dinner for four at a steakhouse is a great idea—unless one of the diners is a militant vegan. As Lifehacker contributor Patrick Allan points out, keeping track of diets and allergies may help people in determining which restaurants are most suited to a particular group. Several friends who are trying to lose weight should probably avoid meeting at a buffet-style restaurant, for example, while an individual who is allergic to dairy products might not want to plan an outing at an ice cream parlor.
Decide Before the Date
Choosing a place to eat is generally easier to do when a person is not under pressure to make a decision quickly. While it may not always be possible to make a decision before the date of an outing, doing so can spare a person or group of people the hassle of making a choice in haste. According to this SparkPeople article, choosing a place on the spur of the moment is not generally advisable. Last-moment dining decisions can be especially detrimental for people who are trying to monitor their caloric intake. Waiting until the last minute to choose a restaurant may be particularly overwhelming if an individual is trying to organize a group of diners with specific and conflicting tastes, so plan ahead if the group is full of picky eaters.
Utilize Online Resources
Various apps and websites can help to make the task of selecting a restaurant easier than ever. One way to evaluate a specific dining establishment is to browse online for reviews about the place. Some websites and apps offer a variety of professional and consumer reviews about local restaurants. Others feature maps that provide information about lots of restaurants, such as locations, hours of operation, and other information that can help consumers decide where they want to eat.
Selecting a great place to dine out does not need to be an overwhelming chore. With a little planning, a person can make a decision that pleases everyone involved. The right resources can also help an individual to make an informed dining choice.