Eleanor Rigby Never ‘Dined’ Alone

Contrary to public perception Eleanor Rigby did not die of a broken heart alone – she in fact dined (excuse pun) alone at Santorini at Sun City, South Africa due to bad service.

It has often irritated me that a woman alone who wishes to eat, and goes into a restaurant is given a table next to the kitchen, or near the entrance to the restaurant or, best of all, on the way to the toilets!!

Our money is as good as the woman dining in company, the man eating alone, the man and his whisky glass dining alone or a complete entourage pigging out.

Due to the nature of my business I often eat alone. This is not a new subject, it has been covered in the press. Why do women get a rough deal?

At Santorini recently, I went for an early supper. All the tables alongside the open windows inside were reserved – although only one table became occupied in my time. I did not wish to eat outside a) it was for smokers and b) I was offered a table in the path of oncoming people traffic. I had to select, out of those tables seemingly available, a table at the back of the restaurant – out of sight and in indeed also out of mind.

The service to me as a woman alone was pretty shoddy. I don’t often tip below 10% but that night I did. While I sat munching – after my order was queried by the waiter as to whether this was indeed my dinner order – I wondered how long it would take to be asked if I would like another glass of wine – I always have two with my meal – it took over 10 minutes for a waiter, and not my food waiter, to enquire. My food was delivered with a plonk on the table and utter disinterest in me as a guest. It is not the first time this kind of ‘sexist’ service has been on offer. Well not ‘offer’ but enforced!

In today’s world, women on business, in conference, in transit or even on holiday, make up a large proportion of a restaurant’s customer base – maybe some training should be given to make us feel welcome and served at the same service level of anyone else in the establishment. We would like to be offered a decent table (like anyone else), receive the same decent service (like anyone else) and to be acknowledged as a valued customer (like anyone else).

Our money is good…if not better as we generally work harder to earn it!

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