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Restaurants Don't Want Single Customers

By Cindy of Stone Marmot

Nov. 21, 2008

Restaurants appear to only want couples as customers. They really don't seem to be interested in attracting single people as customers. I'm basing this conclusion on the fact that most coupons issued by restaurants are buy one, get a second meal free or half off. Rarely do they have a straight percentage or fixed dollar cost off of the total bill any more. This is not too attractive to a single person as most of us don't eat two meals in one sitting.

Some may argue that some restaurants that offer two for the price of one will give half off of a single meal. But many won't and the ones that will I find I usually have to argue about it with the manager. I don't feel too attracted to a restaurant that I've never been to that may or may not give me a discount with their coupon only after arguing with them. I almost always choose a restaurant that has a coupon for $1 off or 10% off over one that has buy one, get one free for that reason.

Ignoring single customers is rather short-sighted on the part of these restaurant owners. I probably eat out a lot more than most of my married friends. Cooking for one is a nuisance. Even buying for one to cook at home is a nuisance as most food is packaged in sizes for families. I am also away from home a lot and it is much more convenient to eat out than go home to eat and then head back out again. I also tend to frequent places I find that are decent and reasonably priced. And "frequent" for me means two to four times a month (or more) per restaurant, whereas most couple I know eat out less than four times a month total.

In the past many argued that singles are a very limited market and not worth worrying about. But data published by the Census Bureau in 2006 stated that 41 % of the adult population in the US is single or unmarried, and this percentage was growing. With the economy the way it is right now, it seems foolish to ignore any potential customers, let alone over 41 % of the population. Maybe that is why so many restaurants are having such a hard time attracting and keeping patrons.

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