How to pick a restaurant for a first date

As the biggest food- and restaurant lovers of Belgium (or could we say... the world?!) we are big fans of spending our (first) date in a restaurant. ⁠

But how to pick that perfect restaurant?⁠

It can be tricky! You don't know what the other person likes yet, and nothing's worse than ending up in a restaurant your date doesn't like. If they prefer something low-key and traditional to something fancy and vibrant, you won't do anyone a favour by bringing them there (especially yourself when they put you right into the friend zone because of it).

Don't worry, we're here to help you out!⁠

Food that you both like

Firstly: make sure you go somewhere where you'll both find at least one thing on the menu that you like. The days women don't eat on a date are over! We want some real food.

Of course, a surprise dinner at that little Thai place is very romantic, but what if your date hates Asian food? Better safe than sorry, make sure to ask in advance what your date likes. Besides the practical side, it also shows you care, and you can always surprise them when you know them better.

Make sure the price is within your pay cheque

Choose a restaurant in a price range you both feel comfortable with. If you feel out of place, the date will start off on the wrong foot. Going to an overpriced restaurant can be intimidating, and put a lot of pressure on the date, making it too formal.

But on the other hand, if you pick a very cheap restaurant, you can give someone the idea that they are, in fact, 'a cheap date'. If you really like someone, you don't go to McDonald's on your first date, do you?

So think carefully about what impression you want to give someone when selecting a restaurant.

Atmosphere you both like

It's not a surprise to know that the energy of a setting can make or break the date: the perfect lighting, vibe, even the volume of the music.

An example: if you're a young couple, and you sit down in an old-fashioned brasserie where the local retirement home likes to have their afternoon tea, the chemistry won't be bouncing off the walls. Find something where your age group will also be.

Moreover, a successful date needs the perfect lighting. You don't want the light on too brightly (that's called a business lunch), but then again, too little light can be too intimate for a first date. Go for a romantic middle.

Make a reservation

Don't be that person who thinks you can get a table for two in a cool restaurant on a Friday night. Make a reservation, even if it's not super busy. That way, your date can start right away, and you won't have to be awkwardly waiting for your table to be ready. Or worse, you have to choose a nearby restaurant last-minute, and you might end up in that retirement home after all.

It's not what you say, it's where you sit

Finally, find a spot where they will seat you next to each other or at an angle, instead of opposite each other. This may seem an odd tip, but hear me out! If you open any book on body language, it will tell you that positioning people next to one another will result in a higher probability of kind feelings, while sitting opposite each other is a more defensive or even competitive way of sitting (like Western gunslingers...)

Use TableFixr to find a match for both of you

Obviously, we designed our app especially for this situation, so we're not nòt going to mention it (yes, that's a double negative...). You provide the relationship match, and we provide a match with a restaurant. Thanks to our algorithm, we know what you both like and search for the ideal restaurant for the two of you. Download the app, create a group with your date, and start the hunt for a restaurant!

Check out this video to know how to start a restaurant hunt

If you follow these tips, you will be sure to have an awesome date! Still need a little help? Invite your crush for a restaurant hunt on the TableFixr app, and find out what we have in mind for you!

TableFixr is a matching tool that helps you find the perfect restaurant for you and your dinner company. Invite your friends, start matching, and let yourself be surprised by an exciting discovery!