Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

TV star divides opinion by calling solo diners ‘pathetic’


Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

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A reality TV star has sparked criticism online after calling solo diners ‘pathetic’.

The Apprentice star, Ryan Mark Parsons, caused some controversy on Good Morning Britain after picking at those who choose to eat out on their own.

During a debate with Kiss FM presenter Alex Mansurglu on the ITV show, Ryan disagreed with the assertion that it was “freeing” to eat alone.

“You’re telling me going to a restaurant on your own isn’t weird? Go and make some friends…,” Ryan snapped early on in the debate.


You can watch the interaction here: 


Fans of ‘solo dining’ claim it promotes healthier ‘mindful’ eating as they focus on their food, rather than being distracted by chatter. Online searches for ‘solo dining’ soared by 357% in 12 months and the report by hospitality experts is urging pubs and eateries to cater for loners by playing background music to ‘fill the void of no conversation.’ What do you think? #GMB#goodmorningbritain#debate

♬ original sound – GoodMorningBritain – GoodMorningBritain

“I think people that do it are pathetic to be honest with you,” he went on. “I think Alex is one of those losers that goes to restaurants alone, and it’s weird.

“I go to restaurants… and I’m just uncomfortable when I see someone dining alone. I think, ‘what are you doing?’, I question the motives, I think you are really, really quite bizarre.”

But Alex stayed firm, responding: “I lead a very busy life, I have two kids at home. If I can have a 30-minute Nando’s to myself before I get home and then pick up a little takeaway for my kids and fiancé, why not? That’s great, it’s freeing.

“People sometimes think I might have been stood up, I might get a free dessert in this, I might get 10 percent off the bill, I think it’s amazing and great.”

In the aftermath of the conversation, people have been flocking to TikTok to share their thoughts, and it’s apparent that Ryan has rubbed some people up the wrong way…

solo dining good morning britain ryan Mark Parsons

The TV guest slammed solo diners as ‘pathetic’ (Credit: ITV)

“I’ve eaten out alone, gone to the cinema & concerts alone, life is too short to wait on others,” said one.

Whilst another wrote: “‘Go make some friends’ – I’d much rather have no one than have him in my group.”

“He clearly isn’t comfortable with himself if he can’t do things like that alone,” someone else chimed in. “What difference is eating alone at a restaurant or at home?”

“‘Question their motives’… their motive is that they’re hungry mate,” a fourth noted.

solo dining good morning britain ryan Mark Parsons

Solo dining is on the rise (Credit: Getty)

Whatever you think of solo dining, there’s no denying it’s a popular way to eat.

The GMB segment took place after online searches for ‘solo dining’ soared by 357 percent in 12 months, with more pubs and eateries being urged to focus to lone diners. 

Plus OpenTable reported in 2019 that, in the UK, solo dining was up 160 percent across a four year period. And believe it or not, it’s now more common to seat a party of one than any other table size in the States. 

Here at Twisted we’re all for a meal on our own. In fact, our writer even went to try it out for herself last year. You can read that here.

Featured image: Getty/ ITV

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