At 2RedBeans, users often come to us feeling confused about what they should do on their first dates. Most questions revolve around where they should eat. They don’t want to overlook a single detail so they can leave their best first impression.
“Should we go for Asian or American food?”
“Should we go for afternoon tea instead of dinner?”
“Should I dress more formally or casually?”
First, before choosing the restaurant, pause and think about it from your date’s perspective.
Based on our experience, we think that your date will fall into one of these 3 types:
The assertive person will often approach the date in their own way. When communicating with them, you may realize that they are often opinionated about where to go for the date and may try to convince you to go along.
In this case, we recommend giving your date the option to decide, or request them to list down a few recommendations for you.
The cooperative person will also have their own style of approaching the date, but they are not as assertive. They choose to be more cooperative with their date so as not to appear too “assertive”. When communicating with them, you may realize that they give their suggestions, but more often than not, will choose to follow your choices.
In this case, we recommend you to give your date a few recommendations for them to choose.
The passive person will let their date choose their preferred locations. In fact, when you communicate with them, you will realize that they are fine with anything that you choose and will have no qualms about your choices.
For this case, the choice of location for the date will be very important and we recommend you do your research.
Choosing the restaurant: The Six Steps
First step: Understand your date
Choice of cuisine: What kind of cuisine does your date like? Do they have any dietary restrictions or allergies?
Timing of date: Does your date prefer weekdays after work or the weekends?
Choice of location: Which locations would be the most convenient for your date?
Second step: Choice of location
If weekdays after work: Choose a location near your date’s workplace or somewhere convenient for both of you.
If weekends: Choose a location with plenty of options for entertainment or a restaurant with a good view.
(Some points to consider: Is the location easily accessible? Will there be parking available?)
Third step: Timing of date
If date is on a weekend morning: A cafe which serves coffee, tea and/or brunch is recommended.
If date is on a weekend, late morning: A cafe which serves entrees or brunch is recommended.
If date is on a weekend afternoon: A restaurant which serves afternoon tea or entrees is recommended.
If date is on a weekday/weekday after work: A restaurant which serves entrees is recommended.
(Some points to consider: Having coffee/tea at a cafe in the morning before going to a restaurant for the main course is a good choice. Cafes often provide a good ambience for a couple to chat. As for lunch or dinner, restaurants may be crowded and may not provide the ambience for you to chat with your date)
Fourth step: Choosing the restaurant
1. The ambience
For first dates, we recommend choosing a middle to high-end restaurant for the ambience. Of course, it depends on you and your date! Good ambience can make you and your date comfortable and relaxed. Sometimes, a high-end restaurant may not be a good choice if both of you feel pressured by the ambience to act in a certain manner deemed ‘suitable’ for the environment.
(Some points to consider: The service of the restaurant that you intend to go should not be overlooked. Restaurants with bad service can hamper your first date experience as well.)
2. The choice of cuisine
Choose a restaurant that is generally recommended so that you reduce the chances of the food not being up to par. We recommend Japanese restaurants such as a sushi bar. We DO NOT recommend restaurants serving hot pot or barbecue for the first date!
3. The cost of the food
We recommend choosing a restaurant that is comfortably affordable for both of you.
(Some points to consider: Consider the price points that both of you are willing to accept first!)
4. Popularity of the restaurant chosen
We often want to choose a restaurant that is very popular amongst the general public. In which case, consider making reservations beforehand instead of making your date line up with you at the restaurant!
Fifth step: Ordering
Always ask your date what they would like first! For men, we recommend that you directly ask your date what they would like to have instead of guessing. (I hate to say it, but women are generally more indecisive than men) If your date does not have any preferences, here are some not-to-haves:
Sixth step: Footing the bill
When it comes to footing the bill, women can offer to pay. However, if your date is willing to pay, there is no need to fuss over the bill. You can offer to pay for the movie tickets and drinks that come after!
As for men, there is no harm taking the initiative to pay for the meal. Just do it!