Food. We need it for substance of life, and it something we all have in common. It is more popular than ever too, thanks to food-based reality TV programs such as Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. Diners have become more food aware and are happy to try new ingredients with vivacious enthusiasm.
As enjoyable as food can be, many of us unfortunately don’t share the pleasure of eating together: a UK study recently revealed that due to our busy lives, 43% of us eat alone. So, next time you are by yourself at the end of a stressful week, don’t settle for Games of Thrones re-runs and left-overs from yesterday’s delivery meal. Go out to eat with others! Not only will it satisfy your hunger, but getting outside with fellow diners is good for you too.
‘Social eating’ is the inclusive act of dining with others as a way to socialize, anywhere: indoors, outdoors, a home or restaurant. It can be with family, friends, colleagues or just newly met acquaintances. After all, eating together makes food much more enjoyable. Also, thanks to technology, solo diners need no longer mutter ‘table for one’ either, as MeetUp groups in the UAE bring people together with similar interests, often over the dinner table.
Be it just a simple meal or fine dining, sharing a table is a pleasurable experience that has many health benefits. Research shows:
• Those that eat socially feel happy and satisfied with their lives and have a wide social network providing emotional support.
• Families that eat together have children with greater self-esteem, better eating habits and less depression. It also gets them off their smartphones!
• Employees who share a meal are less stressed, create positive relationships and are more productive in the workplace.
Dining together will be extra special at Al Qana, Abu Dhabi’s new social and dining destination. Here, all types of cuisines from gastronomical delights to fun family dining will be offered on a social and vibrant waterfront like no other.
So next time you are hungry, make the effort to call a person you know or find a group and go out to eat! There’s no better way to re-connect to someone you haven’t seen for a while over a meal, and soon you will be able to do just that at Al Qana. You’ll find that regularly eating socially will benefit your health for the longer term, both mentally and physically.