ST. LOUIS – A Michigan man ditched the idea of eating alone during his recent business trip to St. Louis, instead arranging a dinner with strangers through Reddit.

The brave soul behind it, who identifies as Joe from Metro Detroit, spent an evening with one couple at Terror Tacos, a plant-based Mexican restaurant in south St. Louis.

Joe tells FOX 2 that his job leads him to several business trips each year. Earlier this month, he ended up in St. Louis for work at the Boeing campus.

Joe says his employer offers meals per-diem during his business trips. On several occasions, he’s eaten alone. Joe says this has grown quite tiresome, so he took matters into his own hands.

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“I like to keep things fresh. I like to think outside the box. That’s kind of what this was,” Joe said in a phone call with FOX 2. “I thought, if I go on Reddit and say, ‘Hey, I’d like to buy someone a meal here. Let’s sit down for an hour or two. I’ll get to know you. We’ll have some great food.’ Let’s see where things go.”

The Reddit post was met with several quick replies, mostly positive. One man reached out to Joe in a private chat to suggest Terror Tacos, his girlfriend’s favorite local restaurant. Joe quickly agreed to join the couple at the restaurant.

“Just like that, 30 minutes later, we’re eating some plant-based Mexican food, talking about our lives, and having a couple of drinks,” Joe said. “There’s definitely an element of trust that comes with it on both sides.”

Joe says there were good vibes upon meeting the couple at the restaurant, describing his experience with the strangers as casual and light-hearted.

“We talked a little bit about what we did career-wise,” he said. “The guy I was talking to worked on steam generators, which was really cool because in my line of work, I encounter them a bit. We talked a little bit about food, music, and film. The band Flock of Seagulls came up, which was great.”

From a food and atmosphere standpoint, Joe says the restaurant was different than almost anywhere else he’s eaten. He enjoyed the ambiance and various horror-movie themes. It was also his first time at an entirely plant-based restaurant.

Joe says he has “no regrets” about the dinner. He exchanged numbers with the couple and would “absolutely have dinner [with them] again.”

Joe hopes this will encourage others to get out of their comfort zones and build more social connections.

“I can tell you eating alone has gotten pretty old over the past few years,” Joe said. “I still love food, but company is a little hard to find when I’m travelling by myself, living in a suitcase. And that was one of my motivations for doing this.”

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“Also, I like what it promotes on a social level,” he said. “The world, we’ve gotten a bit socially anxious as a whole. People are less willing to call each other on the phone, make arrangements, invite, and kind of think and act outside the box. If we all did that just a bit more, invite people to more things, maybe the world would be a better place.”

Joe says he plans to revisit several other offers from the Reddit thread during his next trip back to St. Louis, with some people even offering to prepare him a home-cooked meal or plan a picnic.

St. Louis isn’t the only place Joe has done this either. He says he also used Reddit to plan a dinner with strangers in Charleston, South Carolina, which he also considered a fond experience.