Female business travellers who dislike eating alone on trips now have the option to dine with other solo women at the Jurys Inn. The chain is testing out a women-only table in the restaurants of its Chelsea and Manchester hotels.
The idea is a result of feedback from 1,200 guests, which showed that 76 per cent of female travellers find it uncomfortable to go to the bar or restaurant alone and as a result often end up ordering room service.
Marketing manager for Jurys Inn, Suzanne Cannon says: "It's a chance for businesswomen to meet other travellers in similar circumstances, be part of a group and enjoy eating in company after work rather than being stuck in a room."
This is not the first time hotels have tried to include the lone traveller. In fact one Business Traveller reader, Terry O'Connor, pointed out in a letter in our June issue, that The New Stanley Hotel in Nairobi was offering exactly the same idea to any lone business traveller who wanted company over dinner 30 years ago.
Other hotel groups have also addressed the issue of lone diners by offering magazines and papers to read over dinner, and Novotel's 'TV dining' concept is aimed to make eating alone more comfortable.
When asked if the same service would be available to male diners, a spokesperson for Jurys Inn said that the results of the recent survey showed that women's dining was something that had created a lot of interest, but if the trial is popular the chain will encourage mixed or all-male dining tables too. Places for the women-only table must be booked at check-in.
Jurys Inn opened a property in Plymouth last month and will be opening eight new properties in the next three years in Brighton, Liverpool, Swindon, Watford, Sheffield, Exeter, Derby and Cardiff.
For more information see jurysinns.com.
Report by Felicity Cousins