But in Europe and the United States, there is (almost) no such thing as a restaurant for one person. Of course, the situation differs from country to country, but basically, restaurants are for couples. In some countries in particular, the "pressure on couples" is quite strong, and singles who have no one to eat dinner with on weekends can feel quite miserable.
Against this backdrop, Dutch advertising firm Vandejong and design studio Marina van Goor last month opened Eenmaal, a restaurant with an experimental concept.
Eenmaal is the world's first restaurant exclusively for one person. Eenmaal aims not only to break the common sense of Western society that it is taboo to eat alone in public, but also to make it more appealing and a natural act in modern society.
At Eenmaal, only tables are set up for one person so that customers can enter the restaurant alone and sit down without hesitation. Moreover, the tables are arranged in such a way that customers do not have to look at each other.
In Western young adult novels, the protagonist is often a character who is bullied by his roommate because he has no one to eat dinner with on the weekends. And in most of these novels, the happy ending is usually achieved when the protagonist gets a date and the bullying roommate loses heart.
I am not sure if a society where people are bullied just for not having a partner for dinner is right, but on the other hand, it is true that there is a theory that the social system of "only couples can eat out" is actually helping to prevent a declining birthrate.
The Netherlands has a total fertility rate of 1.79, which is not very high, but higher than the Japanese rate of 1.39. It will be interesting to see if the appearance of restaurants like Eenmaal, which cater to single people, will lower the birth rate in the Netherlands or not.