My husband and I have always spent too much money going out to eat. We were together for over thirteen years before having Teghan, so you can imagine how many opportunities we had to hang out in restaurants. It was about nine years into our relationship before either of us had a job that required us to be up before noon, so a good percentage of our twenties were spent over breakfast and coffee with friends at three in the morning. Or, in those early poor years- sharing an appetizer platter at Lums.
We didn’t know how good we had it.
These days we go out to eat once a week. Sure, I blow a lot of money on carryout. Especially at work. But once a week the two of us actually go to a restaurant together for a lunch date. Alone. We order breakfast and coffee and dream about our future. Just like the old days.
If you don’t have a restaurant where they know your order when you walk in the door, you should work on that. Shop around, go to other places as the mood strikes you- but having a regular spot is invaluable. Find the right atmosphere and comfort. Get to know the staff. Tip more than you usually would, even if you consider yourself an excellent tipper.
There are perks to being a favored customer. You feel welcome. You get the best service. The staff look genuinely happy to see you. And on a stressful day, maybe even relieved. There is no brief flash of disappointment across their faces when you enter the room. You know the look. And even though we almost never take Teghan out to restaurants, it’s a place where we could take her and not feel so anxious. Continue reading