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Do you hate organizing dinner outings?

Hello everyone - first-time poster but long-time lurker.

My friends always leave it up to me to pick a restaurant when we go out. They are often happy with the result but I secretly hate having to do the work. Anyone else in the same situation? Am wondering if I am unique with this secret resentment, so to speak.

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  1. You are not alone. I have one friend, who, no matter how many times we eat together, when asked where she wants to go, replies: "I don't care".

    Until, of course, I name a place, and then she does.


    2 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      Haha, yes, that is very similar to me, except it's more than one person at the other end. Thanks for the solidarity.

      1. re: mutton biryani

        Yep, it all depends on who's going to attend. Some people are always going to be open to something new and others just love to complain.

    2. Nope. Not at all. I organize a weekly jour fixe at several local restaurants.

      Facebook makes this pretty easy. Sometimes, a few members of our group "forget" to RSVP in a timely fashion, which can be aggravating if you don't have enough chairs, b/c they just show up.

      OTOH, it's a free meal ticket for me every time, so.... nope. Not at all. Not one bit.

      5 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        Do people always accept your first choice? You never wrestle with some people rejecting it, and you having to keep searching?

        1. re: mutton biryani

          Well, in this case, it's specifically for Sichuan food. Period. It started out at one place, but now several others have opened, so we used to rotate for a while.

          The original place, however, is still the group favorite, and since they've been losing business lately with all the other options in town, we don't mind going there 99% of the time.

          Anyone who does not want to have Sichuan food on Thursdays can stay home or eat elsewhere :-)

          1. re: linguafood

            I would like Sichuan on Thursdays.

            1. re: jpc8015

              You and the roughly 30 members of the chile head group :-)

        2. No, I'm the opposite. I love my friends but I don't love all of their tastes in restaurants. I hate spending money on food/a scene I'm 90% sure I won't enjoy.

          The real work is trying to find a day/time that works for everyone. My "work" is clicking through Open Table.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LeoLioness

            Are they always happy with your first choice? You never get into the volley of suggesting something, only to have someone say 'no, pick something else'? Perhaps you don't mind that part as much as I do.

          2. I won't do it. Someone always ends up unhappy and someone always gets bent out of shape on how the bill is split. I avoid large gatherings in restaurants at all costs.

            1. Yes, part of me hates it: the stress of being the picker, so everyone has me to blame if they don't like the place. On the other hand, I choose places I like, so I don't get stuck going to someone else's idea of a good restaurant (ie., Olive Garden. You laugh, but it's happened).

              1 Reply
              1. I love finding a new place to try with friends! My friends have always enjoyed the places i select since as a whole they are more attracted to buzzy sceney restaurants with so-so food (UGH)
                The logistics of everyone's schedule and their ability to commit....not so much.

                What I do is plan two weeks out and send two restaurant options and two time options. If you don't like either restaurant or those two times don't work then "I am disappointed you will not be able to attend our gathering! Hopefully you can make the next one work with your schedule"......
                The understanding within my group is the bill will be split evenly with exception for anyone not drinking or the couple who orders an expensive bottle of wine (they are clear before and when ordering that they should be billed seperately for it with the server)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  This does sound rather formal. Are these regular events? Or is it spur-of-the-moment, but two weeks in advance?

                  1. re: mutton biryani

                    Not regular or scheduled especially but with just a week notice most of my busy friends can't make it due to work/travel/babysitter issues etc.... I send the email two wks before and then a reminder the day before- a few of the group have, um, "time management issues"....

                2. it. all. depends. :)
                  I'm open to the possibilities of choosing, and don't mind doing the research. I like being at places that I enjoy. However, it *is* a lot of work to coordinate location, food sensitivities, and dates for a large group (such as my family).
                  Where possible, I use on-line tools such as Doodle, to poll the attendees.
                  There are very few occasions in my (social) life (i.e. family dinners) for which all guests' criteria must be accommodated. Work life is entirely different... I'm a personal chef, and usually get hired because of the hosts' food-related quirks.