A new trend in Barcelona's eateries is bad news for solo travelers and also for local singles, as restaurants increasingly refuse to serve solo diners, saving the table space for larger, more lucrative groups.
The fact that the bigger groups are often visitors who are perceived as more willing to spend big bucks has inflamed some passions among locals, even some who don't eat alone. One journalist posted the question "How can you be rejected for eating alone at a restaurant? Civilization is at stake."
In central Barcelona, where there are many restaurants and many tourists, the situation is most noticeable, with restaurant staff telling singles that all tables are reserved, or that they will have only a short time to eat, or that the only available table is near the toilets.
Locals have also raised complaints about the eating habits of visitors, most from countries that sit for dinner hours earlier than Spaniards do. This results, they say, in visitors eating dinner and taking up tables at the hour locals would arrive for a pre-dinner drink.