When a houseguest wants to take you out for dinner

You’ve had company for a few days and your visitor wants to take you out to dinner as a thank you. Since you’re the local, it’s pretty much up to you to suggest a restaurant. What do you do?

While I chose the local place in the poll, it really depends.

If your guests have a lot more money than you, and routinely dine at places like that fancy-pants place you could never afford, then suggest the fancy-pants place.

If your guests don’t like a lot of variety in their food and want to go to somewhere they know what to expect, then suggest a chain.

But if, as is most likely for me, my guests are friends and kindred spirits, I’m going with the local place that I like.

Guess I should answer my own question. Unless I know the person absolutely loves a particular type of cuisine, I’d suggest several local places. I’d try to describe them so that my friend could get a feel for what the menu is like and how pricey it is. And I’d hope and pray that we don’t end up at Olive Garden… :rolleyes: After all, one chain restaurant is just like every other in that chain, but local places can be so much more interesting!

We don’t eat at chain restaurants. I don’t think we know anyone that would eat at a chain restaurant - in the Bay Area, why would you? My Aussie relatives might want to “experience” Denny’s or some other place, but as a cultural curiosity. And I’d send them on their own! :slight_smile:

I try and let the guest choose their most comfortable option. If they want fancy, I’ll recommend fancy. If they want casual, I’ll suggest some low-key options.

We get all kinds of visitors here in Las Vegas - so when they want to invite us out, it is pretty easy; buffet, chain, local, specialty.

My cousins love BBQ, as do many of our friends, so when they come to visit we get invited to Lucille’s quite often and appreciate it.

We have had some visitors on a budget who offer to spring for pizza delivery - and that is cool too.

Had one visitor who insisted on trying a fancy-schmanzy restaurant on The Strip that cost a bundle…I was not all that impressed, considering the cost, but they just loved it so all was good. Plus, they have quite a bit of money, so for them it had nothing to do with price. (We don’t get many visitors in this category!)

Yip. And since reasonable can mean expensive if they are rich, you get to encompass option 3, too. If they think a chain is better, let them suggest it.

A mix of one and four. I’d start by suggesting my favourite place, then offer a bunch of ‘or we could go to xxx which is cheap and cheerful, or yyy if we felt like something a bit classier’ type suggestions.

All my favorite restaurants are are M&P operations and they’re cheap as dirt too so mine was a no brainer, I picked “local fave”.

I will usually give several options within my houseguests’ budget, tastes, dietary needs and whether they are willing to go down the road for more variety.

I live in a small town and even though we have some decent restaurants and, for our size, a nice variety, Nashville’s only half an hour down I-40, so more of a variety can happen pretty easily.

I went with offering several suggestions with different price ranges. Who knows, maybe they budgeted a really nice dinner as a thank you?

We don’t have any chain restaurant where I live, except for the odd McDonalds. Thanks be to God.

Safest option? I don’t even get why that’s a choice

Clearly you are all wrong and should have picked the “offer a choice of restaurants,” which was my vote.

If the guest or guests really can’t decide between Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Pizza, or whatever, then invent on the spot “this one really great spot” he/she/they simply can’t leave town without trying. Just make something up on the spot and make it sound like a suggestion you forgot when you gave them a range of choices.

If you don’t understand a “safest option” you must have never entertained a fussy eater. Or someone who considers Olive Garden to be haute cuisine. Or you aren’t a fussy eater yourself.

If I was to visit one of my sisters, I’d be limited to very boring American style cuisine. BBQ? Chinese? Mexican? Italian? Seafood? Nope - we’d end up in a diner where she could get a steak, medium well, and 2 baked potatoes with butter only. That’s what she’d suggest and prefer.

Ah ok, that makes sense. No I haven’t had to entertain someone that fussy. Mildly fussy, yes, but not crazy

Well, sure. But presumably you know people who stay at your house/apartment/cave/whatever well enough to include among your list of “recommendeds” BK, KFC, McD, or if they are fancy, Ruth’s Chris or something, right?

My way = 0win, 1win, 2*win, … *n**win.

I chose pick a local place you like, but there’s no reason that place can’t also be part of a national chain. If you’re a food snob and don’t like national chains, fine, then it’s not a place you like, good for you, don’t pick it. But not every non-chain local place is good. I’d say they’re pretty hit or miss, with the chains occupying the safe middle of the road.

Basically, whatever the place is, pick something you like, and hope your friends like it too. But don’t go to the crazy all out expensive place, unless your friends specifically make a point of asking to take you such a place.

I chose “local place,” but that’s kind of the starting point. It’d go something like this:

“Hey, can we take you out to dinner?”
“Awesome! There’s a great pizza joint in town that we love; that sound good?”
“Um, okay. Sure!”
“…or, depends on what you’re in the mood for. THere’s also a great brewpub just down the street, or there’s a really cool Indian restaurant downtown, either of those sound better? We’re easy.”

Similarly, if I’m going to take someone out to dinner b/c they’ve hosted me, I’ll generally request that they take us to a great local joint. If we’re on the coast, I’ll ask them where the best seafood is, that kind of thing.

I voted Pick a local place that you really like, but it’s more like suggest several places we like. But that would just be to give them some choice, not to offer a range of prices.

I voted pick a local place that you really like, but mine is the cheap but excellent Indian place across the road. So I guess I’d preface it with, “If you feel like Indian,” because not everyone loves it like I do.