How to make a great restaurant recommendation when you’re put on the spot

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Have you ever been asked by a friend, family member, or colleague for a restaurant recommendation, and found your mind going blank? With many incredible Eat Out star restaurants in South Africa, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the options. If you find yourself in this position, we’ve got a cheat sheet to help you out. Rather than simply recommending the last place you visited, gather some intel, so you can refine your choices and ensure a perfect match! 

Know the occasion

First things first: what’s the occasion? Different occasions call for different vibes. Is this a romantic date night, a casual brunch with friends, or a business lunch? The ambience is just as important as the menu. You wouldn’t send someone to a loud sports bar for an anniversary dinner, unless they’re the kind of couple who are obsessed with sports. Matching the restaurant to the event sets the tone for a memorable experience. 

READ: Cosy dining  – Eat Out star restaurants with a fireplace 

Consider the distance

Next up, how far are they willing to travel? Some folks have unspoken boundaries about how far they are prepared to drive to dine, so it’s essential to recommend a place that’s within their comfort zone. If they’re not keen on a long drive, suggesting a hidden gem two towns away won’t go over well. Keep it local if that’s their preference – or go the distance if they’re up for an adventure. 

Size matters

How big is the table going to be? An idea of the number of diners is crucial. You wouldn’t send a party of 25 people to a small, intimate space that usually serves tables of two or four – unless they’re planning to book out the entire restaurant, which is a different ballgame altogether. Make sure the restaurant can comfortably accommodate the group size to avoid any logistical nightmares. 

READ: Eat Out star restaurants to visit in Joburg

restaurant table


If the place(s) you are recommending have any specific access routes, or an entrance that might easily be missed due to its location, mention this so that the diners are prepared and don’t get frustrated with you for not giving them a heads-up.

ALSO READ: Eat Out star restaurants with breathtaking views 

Dietary requirements

What dietary requirements might they have? Knowing any restrictions or preferences is vital. Imagine recommending a steakhouse to a group with several vegetarians or vegans – disaster! 

Budget considerations

The cost of the experience plays a big role in dining choices. Gauging their spending comfort will help you suggest options that are suitable. This way, everyone can enjoy the meal without fretting about whether they can afford the bill. 

Food is a universal joy, and sharing that joy is a gift in itself. So go forth, recommend with confidence, and know that great meals make great memories!

See the full list of Eat Out star restaurants. 

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