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Your 2018 Challenge: Go To A PopUp “Alone”

Image Credit: Jonny Hunter

Why You Can And Should Dine Solo At PopUps

Still searching for that resolution? We’ve got a challenge for you: head to a popup event sans friend or date. It’s a great way to meet new people, try delicious cuisine, and break out of your comfort zone. Not convinced? Check out our strategies for rocking the solo dining experience.

So why go it alone?

…because going to a popup alone is actually the opposite of eating alone. They are generally communal, and it turns out sitting next to strangers is awesome! Like the first week in your college dorm, embrace the camaraderie! 

The chef is front and center. A popup chef is very present, telling the story of each dish. Diners are also encouraged to interact with the chef, which is an experience one is not usually afforded in a typical restaurant.

You pay for one, but you dine with many. One ticket to a popup gets you an unexpected culinary experience, but it’s also a social engagement. For the price of one, you get the food, the ambiance, and the company.

How to go solo like a boss:

Bring a bottle (or two) to share. Everyone knows that alcohol helps lubricate those social muscles, but we often forget how easy it is for everyone to share the goods. So open that bottle of wine, offer some to your new neighbor, and then go on to tip #2 below!

Use these super effective conversation starters. My go-to icebreaker is usually some variation of, “How did you find about this?” in reference to the popup. We’re in a “secret” location at a specific time, which requires advanced planning. I find this gets the conversation going beyond trite tidbits about the weather. Other food-centric ideas to get the talk flowing:

  • Where was your last epic meal?
  • Sweet or savory?
  • Where was your last trip and what did you eat? 
  • Do you eat to live or live to eat?
  • What is your favorite dish to cook at home?

Bring your genuine curiosity. One of the best parts about going to a popup alone is that it forces you to break out of your circle. In my experience, people are generally willing to share about themselves when given the proper opening, so give details about yourself and your experiences.

Make an actual connection. If you’ve unearthed common ground with a table-mate, take advantage of it! Exchange numbers, connect on social media, or make plans to attend another popup together…like these!

Have more tips for conquering a popup solo? Comment below!

Ready to eat? Browse new events in your city here. 

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