Dining alone may not seem like a very fun activity, but it is a common occurrence for business travelers. In their everyday lives, most people try to avoid dining in a restaurant or cafe alone. It can feel awkward, strange, or even embarrassing.
But the reality is that no one really cares if you're eating alone or not. Additionally, though it may not seem like it at first, there are actually several perks to eating by yourself. This is especially true for business travelers who need to get work done or simply decompress after a long day.
So, in order to show the benefits of eating solo, let's take a look at the top five reasons why business travelers should dine alone.
1. Eat on your schedule.
When you travel for business, you probably have to maintain a tight schedule. Between flight departure times that cannot be changed and important business meetings that shouldn't be postponed, you will likely have little room to mix things up. You may not have time to eat lunch right at noon or sit down for a relaxed 2-hour dinner.
Alternatively, if you have lots of free time after hours, you may want to go out to eat for an early brunch or a late dinner. In any case, dining alone makes sure that you don't have to align your meal schedule with other people. You can simply eat when you're ready and you have the time to do so.
2. Get things done.
When you have a meal with one or more other people, you'll likely focus on pleasant conversation, not work. As a result, you may have to spend more time working later on in order to meet all of your deadlines. This can turn what could have been a productive business trip into a nightmare.
Thankfully, when you dine by yourself, it gives you extra time to focus on work-related matters, rather than polite conversation. You can bring the food to your workspace, or you can even bring your workspace to the restaurant. Plus, you can earn travel rewards for your meals, especially if you use cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred that earns 2x points per $1 spent on dining worldwide.
Either way, combining some light work with your meal is a great way to multitask, and it is much easier to do if you're on your own.
3. Relax and decompress.
Even though it is a great way to multitask, not everyone likes to work while they enjoy their meal. So, if you'd rather eat in peace and tune out your work obligations for a while, a solo meal is a great way to do it.
Whether you're eating in an airport, restaurant, or even your hotel room, use the opportunity to decompress from the stresses of your day. Take time to really enjoy your meal and clear your head. In most cases, this will help you return to work with a renewed sense of purpose, more energy, and greater determination.
4. Choose what you want.
Though you may not realize it, other people can have a major impact on the foods you choose to eat.
For example, let's say that you're having a casual business lunch with a coworker. They decide to order a salad, but you were in the mood for a greasy cheeseburger. When you see what they're ordering, you may feel pressured to choose something a bit healthier.
Whether you want to eat something healthy or more indulgent, dining alone allows you to bypass social pressure and choose what you really want.
5. Stay in touch with others.
It is generally considered rude and antisocial to bring out your phone during a meal with other people. It would be even worse to pull out your laptop and begin responding to emails. So, when you're dining with another person during your business trip, you may not be able to answer important messages in a timely manner.
However, when you dine alone, you can pull out any of your devices and keep in touch with people for personal or business purposes.