On the surface, it’s a pretty simple question. “Where should we go to eat?”
In reality, we spend a precious lot of time trying to answer this question. According to a 2017 study, the average American couple spends 132 hours (or 5.5 days) per year deciding what to eat.
Nearly a quarter of couples often find themselves trapped in “Dindicision” (that’s “dinner + indecision”, in case you were wondering) and when they can’t come to an agreement, women are more likely to get the final say – imagine that! (This is all based on the actual survey results, not just internet memes.)
What I find truly amazing about this: these statistics are all about when there are only TWO people to consider! Two people who, in theory, should be able to communicate openly about needs, desires, budget, location preference, ambiance, mood, cuisine type, etc. And yet I know my husband and I have absolutely been there, done that.
It gets even more challenging when you have a group of people. Here’s why:
- You’re battling groupthink.
- Individuals may have different budgets and attitudes toward spending money on restaurants.
- Related to the above, there are social pressures at work: people don’t want to seem antisocial, or difficult, or snooty, or…
- Tastes and preferences — both general “all the time” taste profiles as well as “today I’m in the mood for” preferences — can vary widely.
- Dietary restrictions — sometimes permanent (allergies, vegetarians), sometimes timebound (Whole 30 or post-holiday cleanse, anyone?) — can make finding a restaurant more challenging, and people who don’t actually live and breathe these issues have a harder time knowing what a person can eat or which restaurants are accommodating.
- Finding a convenient location gets increasingly difficult when there are more people to consider.
And then, the real kickers:
- No one wants to voice ANY of the above considerations.
- No one wants to be the person who chooses the restaurant for the group and is therefore “responsible” for the restaurant.
Really… it’s a wonder we manage to eat out socially as regularly as we do, dontcha think?