Created by designer Marina van Goor, Eenmaal has been making headlines for being the first restaurant offering exclusively tables for one.
“I wanted to create an attractive place where disconnection is attractive and okay. In our society there is rarely room to do things in public on your own. To be alone at a cinema, at a festival or in a restaurant looks and feels very often somewhat sad.
“But it can be nice to have a moment of disconnection from time to time, especially in our hyper-connected society, in which it is expected that we do and share all things outside the door with our friends and family,” van Goor told BigHospitality.
The venue offers a set $50 four-course menu of organic and locally-sourced food combined with wine and completed with coffee or tea, but varies with each edition.
Since the launch of the concept, Eenmaal has had six editions in Amsterdam, and the founder is currently organising events in New York and Antwerp and looking for the appropriate location and collaboration with local parties in London.
“I am getting such a positive feedback from London (individuals, newspapers, magazines, from the creative scene and the city scene as well) on the concept, and also a lot of requests about when we will come over to the UK.
“Because London is a very busy city, the need for an excused disconnection from time to time is growing. If would love to start a permanent venue in London if I find the right collaboration and investors to do so. I am sure it will work in London,” she said.
Research released this week by HospitalityGEM revealed that one in UK diners eat out alone at least once a month – making solo dining an increasingly important market for operators to tap.
The frequency is even higher in the south of UK, where 74 per cent of those surveyed have eaten out alone in the last month, compared to 57 per cent in the north of the country.
The change is largely due to people working longer hours and finishing tasks while dining, with casual restaurants with Wi-Fi and power sockets at the top of solo diners’ preferences.
Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGEM, said: “This research confirms what we have been noticing across our clients for a while. People’s work/life balances are becoming merged and the need to blend dining with working has become more common, and the social acceptability of this has increased in turn.
“It is therefore important for operators to look at their sites and see what they can do to make them more attractive to those who may visit alone.”