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Going solo

More Americans are abandoning the traditional "family dinner" and group restaurant meal to eat alone, according to a recent report by Bellevue, Wash.-based The Hartman Group. The conversations across the table with family and friends are being replaced by social media, claims the report. 

  • 46% of all "adult eating occasions" are alone (up 2% from 2010)
  • A majority of consumers are switching from traditional "sit-down" meals to a series of snacking and other less formal eating occasions
  • 36% of respondents say they have texted with a friend or family member while eating or drinking
  • 29% of respondents report that they have used a social networking site/app while eating or drinking at home
  • 18% of respondents say they have used a social networking site/app away from home while eating or drinking

With reports of solo dining on the rise, restaurants may benefit by adding more tables for one or accommodating single diners at the bar or with communal seating.

Source: The Hartman Group, "Eating Alone: The Food Marketer's Hidden Opportunity," Heartbeat Newsletter