Resolving the “where should we eat” dilemma between friends

It’s a difficult question, really, especially if you live in a place like Montreal where there are plenty of options to dine out. At universities where students spend time with each other 5 times a day (meaning dining with each other more than 5 times a week), this question becomes such a hassle that nobody really wants to burden themselves with it.

What’s even worse is when you ask the question and people say, “Anywhere,” and when you actually decide where to eat, some would say, “Really? We’re going to eat here?”

It’s madness. And annoying at the same time.

When you decide where to eat, your mind thinks about all of the other appetizing options that were available to you. Your brain then worries that you might have made the wrong choice. Unfortunately, you can’t accommodate both sides. People intuitively recognize that there is a wide variety of options available for different sets of friends, which is what science refers to as permutations, according to this infographic, and this is why it’s so hard to decide where to eat.

Breaking restaurants down with the process of elimination

If you’re always having problems with deciding where to eat, you can begin by using the process of elimination. It sounds crazy but bringing logic into a decades-old question that annoys everyone is one of the best solutions.

First, consider each other’s food goals. Are you on a diet? Is one of your friends vegan? Is someone allergic to nuts or doesn’t like a certain type of food? According to Food Allergy, some people have severe reactions to nuts so make sure to consider this when making your final decision. Diets and allergies can already eliminate a lot of restaurants.

Then, consider how far do you want to go. Do you have a class or meeting to attend to after an hour? If so, you need to avoid traveling far and stick to the ones close by.

Lastly, and this is the most important, consider your own needs. Do you need extra carbs for an upcoming workout? Will you feel bad if you eat a large burger? Picture yourself after the meal and think about how you’ll feel once you’ve finished the meal.

Rotational power

If the process of elimination doesn’t work for your group, you can always just rely on another’s decision. Ideally, an ‘alternating leader’ works in most cases. The leader gets to pick where to go that day, and the next day, someone else chooses.

If all else fails, you can always leave everything to the flip of a coin to decide which restaurant you should go to. The key here is that everyone must agree against disputing the decision, whoever it’s left up to.

There’s a simple solution to everything and you just need to step up and suggest these useful solutions.

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Article was written by Lisa White

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