In the past, takeout or delivery were the only options for Koreans not dining with friends or colleagues. Delivery is normally free and offers all the side dishes included with dine-in meals. With the large number of groups, be it friends or the frequent company team dinner, it feels weird to sit alone next to a table of 8. Add to the fact that many Korean specialty restaurants cater soups, stews, and bbq to parties with a minimum of two people.
The trend for 2014 is the individual. Restaurants like Lotteria, TGI Friday’s, and Pizza Hut have changed menus to offer dishes-for-one. They’ve also changed table seating to be more comfortable for those eating alone. Experts look to the rising number of singe-person households as well as people getting married at a later age as catalysts.
포장 pojang – takeout (“to wrap-up”)
회식 hoesik – company/team dinner (“dining together”)