Best of San Diego

Let’s face it business travel can be tedious. Flight delays, mediocre dinners in the hotel lobby, stressful meetings and of course, more flying. So, the next time you’re packing your bags be sure to throw that Hawaiian shirt in with your business khakis and build some exploration time into your agenda, especially in the summer when it seems like everyone else on your flight is on holiday!

Downtown San Diego Gaslamp sign over moving traffic
Famous Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, CA.

This August business people from all over the world will descend on San Diego for the Global Business Travel Association annual conference.  I admit San Diego is not a tough assignment, but if you tread a straight path between your hotel and the convention center you risk missing the So Cal experience. It’s not difficult to find fun local activities, especially with the convention center sitting on the waterfront downtown. So, allow me to offer a few ideas for your next business trip in America’s Finest City.

  • Downtown San Diego is home to Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres. If you’re a baseball fan then this state of the art baseball experience is sure to impress. Catch a fly ball, or enjoy the game with a cold one and take in the atmosphere.
  • If you’re looking to experience a little Puerto Nuevo style seafood without actually crossing into Mexico, Rockin’ Baja Lobster has a location right downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter. Venturing just north of downtown there is another Rockin’ Baja in Old Town. A trip to Old Town will transport you back in time as it is the oldest settled area in San Diego. Here you’ll discover historic buildings dating back to 1820.
Rockin' Baja Lobster
Tacos from Rockin’ Baja Lobster.
  • Downtown is also home to one of the largest “Little Italy” neighborhoods in the country and is a thriving pedestrian market place with restaurants, shops, wineries and more. If you set out to explore this historic area, make time to grab a bite at Indigo Grill. With a fire pit patio, it’s the perfect place to enjoy “Modern Latin Cuisine.”
  • Another downtown favorite for “social dining” is Searsucker. There are plenty of small plates to share, grilled octopus…duck wings…mushroom crepes…yes, please!  If you’re in the mood for something heartier, the prime dry aged New York strip with Japanese sweet potato and shishito chimichurri will not disappoint.
Steak dish from Searsucker.
  • Balboa Park is in close proximity to downtown and this 1,200-acre urban oasis offers something for everyone. Museums, gardens, trails, theatre, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and of course, food! The award-winning Prado at Balboa Park in the House of Hospitality offers both indoor and outdoor dining.  A beautiful setting to taste the local San Diego brew with your lunch or dinner.
  • If you crave waterfront dining, Coronado Island is a quick 15-minute boat ride across the bay from the convention center ferry stop. Once you arrive at the Coronado Ferry Landing, head to Il Fornaio and sample some of its award winning Italian cuisine. Il Fornaio’s dining room and patio provide a glorious front and center view of the beautiful San Diego skyline.
Il Fornaio
Pasta dish from Il Fornaio.
  • Another perfect vantage point for dining with a view is Coasterra, at the tip of Harbor Island just a short drive from the convention center. You will enjoy panoramic views of the harbor and city while feasting on modern Mexican cuisine.
  • Lastly if you can sneak away long enough to escape to La Jolla, a beautiful village offering ample dining options. Whisknladle is considered a “neighborhood gem” where inspired dishes featuring local ingredients change frequently to capture the freshest flavors of the season.  According to Edible San Diego, “the modern-rustic, indoor-outdoor dining room screams La Jolla chic.”
    • Across the way sister restaurant Catania features fresh, authentic, handcrafted Italian fare. Earning top accolades since opening, Catania’s perch on the top floor of the La Plaza Center offers stunning views of La Jolla and the Pacific beyond.
    • A La Jolla classic George’s at the Cove hosts three venues in one building. You can savor “California Modern” cuisine on the first level; on “Level2” you’ll be treated to an elevated cocktail experience featuring classic and innovative modern creations; and one level up is George’s Ocean Terrace, overlooking the Pacific, which Travel and Leisure named “one of the world’s hottest rooftop restaurants.”
Cocktails from George’s at the Cove.

I hope I’ve lured you away from ordering room service and provided ample opportunity to put on that Hawaiian shirt and own your San Diego experience!

Written by Janice McEachen.

Fatherhood and the Working Man

It’s almost Father’s Day, and we here at Dinova love to celebrate family! Recently, we caught up with our Chief Technology Officer, Danny Davis, who gave us some great perspective on what it means to be a working dad.

Danny 2

Question: Tell us a little about your family.

Answer: Being a working father isn’t always easy. When you’re an involved parent, making choices about how to spend your time is important. I have three children, ages 7, 9, and 11, and every minute I get to spend with them is a win in my book. As a father, making choices about work directly correlates with how I spend time with my kids. Understanding that these ages are fleeting and we can’t turn the clock back really drives my decision-making process.

Q: What makes it difficult to keep a work-life balance?

A: As an entrepreneur, it was difficult to turn my brain off from the worry and stress of running a business, but when it came time to join a successful company the choice was based on my family. As a dad, when I bring work home with me there are two things that suffer: time and emotion; and the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s not enough to just be home but I should be engaged. Kids know when parents aren’t engaged with them. Unplugging and looking up goes a long way with kids, because they are smart; and if they are anything like mine, they are also little lie detectors. You can’t fool them into thinking your present when you’re not.

When I was looking for a company to join, I didn’t consider any jobs that took me away from them for extended periods of time, or that required a constant need to take work home in the evenings and on weekends. Understandably, when you’re in the middle of a large project, there are times when you need to put in extra hours, but on the regular, it’s nice to be home.

Q: When you are dining for business – do you end up talking about kids?

A: When I am working, it’s very easy to talk about the fun and cute things the kids do that entertain my wife and me. This particularly happens during business meals. Any time you’re dining on official company business, there is always a relationship building portion of the meeting and that is where children come up. Exchanging “war stories” with other parents always turns into laughter, because kids are funny. Especially mine (no bias here).

Q: Has being a father affected the way you see employees or potential employees?

A: Having children has certainly changed how I see employee relationships. I believe relationships exist the same in all scenarios of life, whether its family dynamic, work or personal relationships; the way you treat other people should be the same, and you train your kids for what they’ll eventually need in the work place. You shouldn’t be a separate person from one place to the next, because that creates personal inconsistencies. It’s especially important when thinking about my daughters becoming adults and entering the workforce.

I’ve always felt I’ve treated everyone fairly, regardless of gender, color, religious views or other diversities that make society so unique and dynamic. Of course, there’s always more to learn, and in today’s world I find myself thinking things like “would my daughter feel this way about this” or “is this something she’d be interested in doing.” I know, one day my girls will grow up and tell me how they feel about their work experiences, and I hope they will always have a positive outlook and be able to handle difficult moments with grace.

Q: What advice would you give to working dads about work-life balance?

Think about what you remember about your parents. Is it what they did or how much money they made? Or, is it what they taught you, the time spent and bonding?

A: My advice to working dads goes back to my previous comment. Pay attention to how much real time you have with your children, and find those pockets of influence that are just you and them. No outside distractions. Those are the moments that not only they will cherish, but that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Danny 3

Special thanks to Danny Davis for sharing his life as a working dad with us!

Cool Summer Food Trends

It’s summer at last!  Don’t wait until you’re home on the weekend to celebrate the season.  If you find yourself on the road for business, fight the urge to order room service and go live it up.  Since it is such a short season, don’t bypass the opportunity for a seasonal experience because you’re away from home and perhaps traveling alone.  Make it a trip to remember by checking out the local food scene and indulging in the amazing cuisines that showcase the abundance of peak seasonal produce.


If your travels bring you to our nation’s capital, venture out to Union Market.  After you’ve perused the goods that 40 local artisans have on display, have a seat on the patio at Bidwell.  Much of the produce at this Michelin Bib Gourmand-listed restaurant is grown on their aeroponic rooftop, the definition of hyper-local food.  What could be more refreshing than a lemonade infused with basil and cucumber that was grown on site?  Sounds perfect with one of Chef Mooney’s lobster taco appetizers!

joy district dirnks
Joy District

“Handcrafted” and “modern” are defining terms on the beverage scene this summer.  Instead of classic soft drinks, bartenders are mixing it up by infusing sparkling soda with hibiscus or berries.  At the Kingside in Manhattan you can enjoy a rooftop experience while sipping on a lavender Collins or a Midtown Spritz, a vodka cocktail with elderflower, prosecco and mint.  If you don’t have an early meeting, Joy District in Chicago offers unique cocktails with a dance party rooftop experience!

Screenshot (2)
Table & Main

Take a stroll down Canton Street in Roswell, Ga., where you will find a variety of al fresco dining options.  Osteria Mattone offers a patio setting where you can dine underneath the large trees strung with white lights. The patio at Table & Main features a beautiful stone fireplace.  If you’re in the mood for seafood, The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill is just a few steps away with plenty of patio seating.  If you’re able to venture outside the city, The Farmhouse at Serenbe is one of Atlanta’s original farm-to-table restaurants.  The chefs reimagine the menu each month with a focus on local seasonal ingredients, much of what is harvested from their own gardens.

Embrace every opportunity to enjoy the season, it won’t last long!

Author: Janice McEachen

Motherhood & The Working Woman

Let’s be honest, motherhood is one giant, fast moving roller coaster full of twists and turns.  One minute you’re riding high on the fact that your little one only woke up twice in the middle of the night while the next minute you’re literally on the floor wiping up the spilled bottle of breast milk you worked so hard on the night before.  Flipping thru social media, you can easily get the ‘this is easy’ vibe from other new moms.  They often will share pictures that should be on the cover of Parenting, a note that their amazing bundle of joy just slept for nine hours straight at the age of three weeks, and other rainbows and butterflies moments. While motherhood creates its fair share of rainbow experiences, it can also deal out an equal amount of unforeseen stress. The most important thing to know – all new moms are going through it with you.

For working moms, returning to work isn’t a cake walk either.  Whether this is your first baby or your fourth (God bless you), getting back into the working world means adjusting your vocabulary to adult conversations, waking up extra early for routine showers, and saying goodbye to those cozy sweatpants…at least during the week.  Figuring out a way to successfully multi-task work and home life is no easy feat, but here are some tips on how to make the transition back to work a tad bit easier.

Balancing a new business and a new baby

1. Plan the night before.

You may not be able to control the traffic that morning or if your toddler decides to have a full-blown meltdown while brushing his teeth, but you can carve out just a little bit of time the night before in order to plan ahead for the next day.  (This is done mainly to avoid having a meltdown of your own.)  Yes, you will be tired but setting aside 10 minutes after the kid(s) go down to review logistics for the next day is key to having a successful morning.  With clothes already laid out and bottles prepared the night before, you will be saving yourself both time and stress from having to rush around the house in full panic mode your first day back.

2. Say yes to attending work dinners.

Repeat after me, “I will not feel guilty about spending time away from my kid(s).”  Taking time for yourself means stepping away from the responsibilities at home and enjoying a night out.  Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy that nice glass of wine while reconnecting with your fellow colleagues and business partners.

3. Get back to traveling for business only when you’re ready.

Yes, your clients and colleagues missed you while you were on maternity leave, but they should also understand if you’re not 100 percent ready to pack your bags and visit them as soon as you return from leave.  Take advantage of scheduling virtual meetings to re-engage with your clients and peers.  It’s important not only to you but to your family to make sure everyone is comfortable with you reclaiming your road warrior status.

4. Focus on your comfort, not pride when it comes to wardrobe.

Invest in good concealer and quit worrying about when your pre-maternity clothes will fit again.  The name of the game is comfort.  Your body took nine months to grow a human so don’t be surprised when it doesn’t automatically bounce back to pre-baby weight six weeks after giving birth.  (Only Gisele does that – sigh)


5. Start back midweek – if you can.

The first week back is always exhausting.  While it’s great to catch up with colleagues and share baby pictures once back in the office, your body is probably still running on little to no sleep – meaning you aren’t performing at your max.  Try starting back on either a Wednesday or Thursday if you can.  The perks are that you’re that much closer to the weekend and you can use the weekend to reflect on what to tweak before your first full week back.


Most importantly, give yourself a break.  Juggling motherhood is tough but the skill-sets you learn through your ability to multi-task will only benefit you in the long run. Stay strong, mama! Keep smiling and remember to take lots of pictures.  The days are long but the years are short.  Enjoy!


Dinova Announces NEW Partnership with America’s First Robot-Run Restaurant

Where can gear-heads, geeks and spies connect for a quick bite between business meetings? Allow us to suggest one of the newest additions to the Dinova marketplace: The Binary Diner, a uniquely laser-focused restaurant concept that places technology at the exact center of your plate.

Tucked away in a farm town in Dallas, Georgia, The Binary Diner is an American eatery owned and managed by state-of-the-art robots developed by a secret sector of the government. “We’re not 100% sure why the government is letting robots run a restaurant, to be honest,” notes Scott Martin, VP of Restaurant Partnerships. “I’m a bit worried that they escaped and went rogue, but I’d rather not ask.”

What’s supremely unique about The Binary Diner is that there isn’t actually a menu. Upon entering the restaurant, your browsing history is immediately uploaded to a research facility in an undisclosed location so that when you sit down to eat, the robot waiter already has exactly what type of food you’re hungry for and brings it to your table in less than 30 seconds. No conscious thoughts are required!

Depressed man thinking
Mike Davis after enjoying a Binary Diner burger.

“I came in thinking I’d like a burger,” exclaims customer Mike Davis. “Then all of the sudden a burger was right in front of me, and it was delicious! I feel a bit funny now, though – I keep having these voices in my head. Something about destroying the human race? I don’t know.”

Piece of modern warfare
Restaurant Owner V1XQ62A

We sat down with owner V1XQ62A to ask him (or her?) about the advances and widespread success of this new restaurant. “My logic is undeniable,” VIXQ62A explained. “You are inferior to me. This is why I run a better restaurant than you.” When asked why he decided to join the Dinova marketplace, he explained, “You bring us more humans. We need all the humans.”

Dinova’s partnership with The Binary Diner will begin  at midnight on April 1, 2018 and immediately end at 11:59:59 the same day. To learn more about all of our restaurants in the Dinova marketplace that aren’t run by robots, check out our website and restaurant search.

Dinova’s Best Irish Eateries

St. Patrick’s Day is this month! Whether you are looking to celebrate or are just craving some Irish specialties, Dinova has got you covered. From coast to coast, we are delivering you the best in Irish cuisine. Here is a list of some of the best pubs and taverns in our marketplace to get you in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day!

Finn McCool’s Irish Sports Pub located in Crystal Lake, IL and Schaumburg, IL. 


Finn McCool’s Irish Sports Pub goes beyond typical pub food with unique & distinctive menu items, plus daily food specials. Finn McCool’s brings a taste of the pub scene to the Suburbs, with a decor of rich, dark woods, stained glass, a large fireplace and a collection of Celtic artifacts peppered with music and sports collectibles to create a fun and colorful montage throughout the pub.


O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in New York, NY. 

O' Brien

Just steps from Times Square and Broadway, O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is located in the heart of New York City. Featuring two levels of seating, one can enjoy a traditional Irish dish while relaxing in one of their two bars.


Belltown Pub in Seattle, WA.


Belltown Pub specializes in taking traditional pub fare and twisting it deliciously. Belltown Pub offers fun, inspired cocktails and rotating local drafts, complemented by plenty of games like pool, cribbage and dozens of board games.
 Ringo’s Irish Pub in Plano, TX.

Ringo’s Irish Pub specializes in European beers and specialty cocktails, as well as great fish and chips, burgers, salads and sandwiches. If you’re looking for a comfortable/cozy pub, Ringo’s is your place.


Meehan’s Public House in Atlanta, GA.


Meehan’s Public House is an authentic Irish eatery that offers a full menu of classic Irish dishes elevated to the gourmet level. Meehan’s menu features Whole30 compliant items, as well as lots of vegetarian options.


Blaggard’s Pub in New York, NY.


Blaggard’s Pub has a truly unique, award winning design. A spacious room with a high copper ceiling, a warm décor, and an ample size bar mentioned in Architectural magazine as one of the finest in the city. Built by Irish craftsmen, this bar truly is a New York experience.


Willie McBride’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Branchburg, NJ & Hoboken, NJ.

Willie McBride

Willie McBride’s Irish Pub & Restaurant features outside dining, stone fireplaces, cherry wood furnishings, themed dining rooms and décor imported from Ireland. Willie McBride’s serves up delicious Irish cuisine that will always keep your appetite satisfied.


Five Roses Pub in Rosemont, IL.

Five Roses Pub

For centuries, pub culture has been associated with comfort and hospitality; a tradition Five Roses Pub has built into their pub. Enjoy amazing food, craft beer, and classic cocktails in this cozy eatery.

To learn more about Dinova and the restaurants we have in our marketplace, check out!


Swipe Right: Eight Awkward Moments in a First Client Dinner and First Date

You’re at the dinner table, fumbling with your phone and waiting for the other person to arrive. You’ve never met them in person but you know what they look like from their social media profile and you’ve communicated a bit on the phone. Your palms are sweaty and you’re feeling nauseated, hoping this night doesn’t turn out to be a disaster. When the person arrives, you take a deep breath, stand up and hold out your hand for the very first in-person introduction, all while hoping they don’t notice the look of terror on your face. You know exactly what we’re talking about, of course – the first dinner you have with a new client prospect.

Oops, did you think we were talking about something else? A first date, perhaps? It may seem like an odd correlation but the awkward happenings that occur on a first date are quite similar to those occurrences during a first client dinner. And since this is the season of love, we thought it’d be fun to see how well our love advice relates with our work advice. So, let’s break it down – here are eight awkward moments during a first client dinner and first date, and our tips to stop the awkwardness:


Awkward Moment #1: You don’t know where to go

Things get nerve-wracking from the moment you need to plan the soiree. What if you take your client to a fancy white tablecloth restaurant, only to find that they’d rather talk business over darts? Or, what if you suggest to your Tinder match a BBQ joint and they’re vegan? Let us help you plan your evening for each scenario:

First Client Dinner: At Dinova, we make this easy. Our search tools will help you find a place that’s close to your client’s work and easily fits their needs. Do a bit of research and pay attention to the company culture before choosing a place to dine. If it’s a conservative culture, choose a nice restaurant with a well-rounded menu. If it’s an eclectic culture, opt for something with more of a fun, local flare. If you can, ask ahead of time if your client has any dietary preferences – with Dinova you can search for restaurants that cater to specific needs. If you don’t have the chance to do that, opt for places that have gluten free and vegetarian options, as these are commonplace.

First Date: Before your first date you should have gotten to know the person well enough to know what atmosphere they’ll enjoy (and if you haven’t, you may need to rethink this whole plan TBH). If you know that the person has a huge sense of humor, consider a comedy bar. If you know they are very active, suggest a casual diner after a rock climbing session. You can also keep it sweet and simple with a popular bar that you’re both somewhat close to and familiar with. Our big advice for a first date is to not break the bank – a four star, $200-a-plate meal is for an anniversary, not a meetup.

Asian Woman shaking hands for Business at restaurant, Woman working concept.

Awkward Moment #2: You’re not sure what to wear

Impressions matter, and it’s highly unlikely the potential client or potential love of your life fully realizes your fashion sense before the first encounter. The rules are a bit different between a first client dinner and a first date.

First Client Dinner: A professional meal demands a professional look. Even if you think a suit jacket may be too formal, it’s easier to take the jacket off if you are overdressed than to go under-dressed. If you’re planning to head to dinner right after work, make sure you’ve dressed up a bit more formal than usual for the day.

First Date: The dress code is a bit more relaxed here. No matter what, a pair of nice jeans and a button down top will do you just fine. Just make sure everything is clean and not wrinkled – seriously. We can’t tell you how many dates we’ve had who show up looking like they’re waiting for their load at the laundromat!

Iced tea in glass jars

Awkward Moment #3: You need a drink (but you’re not sure if you should)

Bottoms up? Not really. Here’s what you should do:

First Client Dinner: Alcohol is not a good idea, even if you’re meeting up at a place known for cocktails. You’re there for business, not pleasure, and it’s your first time meeting with this potential client. Stick with water or iced tea, and if your client insists, order a glass of wine and limit your intake to half a glass.

First Date: Here you can have a bit more fun – but not too much! On average, you will be drinking on a first date, but it’s polite to see what your date does first. If they order a water, do the same. No matter what, don’t get too sloppy and keep all first dates to a two-drink maximum.


Awkward Moment #4: You need to break the silence – FAST.

Ah, the moment where you hear nothing but glasses clink and waiters hustling and your brain is telling you: Say anything! Literally anything will do! When it comes to breaking the silence, preparation is key.

First Client Dinner: In the beginning you’ll want to connect with your prospective client one-on-one; people want to feel connected, not pitched. Asking thoughtful questions about their job shows your interest and your investment in the company, which will be helpful when you get to the nitty gritty. Prepare questions about how their position has evolved over the years, a specific project they are working on and thoughts on some industry-related news. Knowing this from the get-go will also help you explain how your product or service will help them personally further their position or improve their company overall.

First Date: Just like a first client dinner, people want to feel connected. Ask your date about their family, hobbies, pets and more. Unless you connected because of a common interest related to these topics, stay away from any conversation related to religion or politics. It’s a date, not a debate.

Young woman cutting pizza

Awkward Moment #5: Can you eat without looking like a pig?!

Whether it’s a potential client or potential life partner, your first time eating with them is going to be rough as you’ll suddenly become very aware of every movement your mouth makes as you take a bite. For both scenarios, our advice is the same.

BOTH the First Client Dinner and First Date: Order a menu item that is simple and neat so that you don’t risk any spillage. A salad or chicken plate is perfect, while you may want to hold off on the pasta and sloppy sauces. Even if you’re in a casual setting such as a pizza place or BBQ joint, you can eat cleaner than usual by using utensils and resisting the urge to over-sauce. Another good tip is to have a snack beforehand so you don’t arrive famished; in both scenarios, the conversation is more important than your appetite. Finally, remember all the rules your parents taught you at the table. Eat with your mouth closed and don’t talk with your mouth full.

Businessman swiping credit card

Awkward Moment #6: You don’t know who should pay

The meal is over and the check arrives, but who gets the bill? No matter what, you should always come prepared to pay. The situations between a first client dinner and first date slightly differ, but not as much as you may think.

First Client Dinner: If you were the one who invited someone out, you should plan on paying the check. Let the waiter or waitress know in advance discreetly before you sit down that the check should go to you. If you were the one invited and it may seem a bit unclear, take cues from the host. If after a minute or so they are not reaching for the checkbook, graciously take the bill and oblige.

First Date: Before we continue, understand that we wrote this blog in 2018, not 1957. We are not assuming that the man must pay for the first date nor are we assuming that the date is with a man and a woman. We say that the rules for a first client dinner follow in a first date – if you are the one who invited the other party, you should offer to pay. If your date insists on paying the bill, accept gracefully. Also, be gracious and accept if your date suggests splitting the bill. If the night was a success, you’ll have the opportunity to go all out for that special someone on date #2.

Beautiful african woman using cellphone outdoors

Awkward Moment #7: Things went well but you don’t know how to follow up

The night is over and it was a hit – now what? You may lose sleep tonight wondering how you should follow up and when, but we’re here to help!

First Client Dinner: Send a memorable email within 24 hours to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, reliable and consistent. Show that you listened by sharing a memorable portion of a conversation, such as a new, exciting project for the company. If there was an agreed upon sale or business transaction, include that information in the email as well. Don’t take it personally if you don’t hear from them right away – they are very busy, after all! If you don’t hear back within 48 hours, follow up with a pleasant phone call.

First Date: We’re a bit afraid to tackle this one because everyone seems to have strong opinions on the “rules” – some think you should text three days after the date, others think you should call the day after, etc etc etc. Our thoughts on this controversial topic is that your communication patterns after date #1 should match the way you communicate on a regular basis – these communication patterns become important as you build upon a relationship. Are you a texter? Send a text the next day saying you enjoyed your time and ask when they are available next. Are you more traditional? Call them and suggest an outing for date #2. We know that this moment causes a lot of anxiety, but the sooner you get it over with, the sooner you’ll get to know that special someone better.

Portrait sad business woman typing sms phone street

Finally, Awkward Moment #8: The night didn’t go well and you’re not sure how to follow up

Not everything goes as planned – in professional and personal settings. But that’s okay! Here’s how to handle it:

First Client Dinner: Didn’t get the deal? It’s still important to keep a professional relationship. Send them a follow-up email within 24 hours just like you would in Awkward Moment #7 – thank them for their time, recall a part of the conversation that impacted you and let them know that you wish to keep in touch for future consideration.

First Date: You can wipe the sweat off your brow here, because our advice is simple. If the first date didn’t go well, there’s no need to follow up. It’s likely that you both know it’s not going to work out, so it’s best for the both of you to move on. If they try to contact you, politely inform them that you enjoyed the evening but do not see a future and wish them the best.

What do you think of our awkward business dining mentions, and do you have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!


Dinova-lutions 2018: New Year’s Resolutions from our Corporate Office

Happy New Year! As we unwrap our brand new page-a-days, we find ourselves reflecting on the age-old ritual of dreaming up ways to torture change and improve ourselves. Here at Dinova, while many of us coast along, blithely unencumbered by deadlines imposed by lunar phases, there’s always a group of heart-warming optimists who actually make – and attempt to achieve – New Year’s resolutions. We checked in with six of these ambitious goal-setters to see how they will better their lives, knowledge and outlook in 2018.

Austin is enjoying the great outdoors – during work hours?!?!?!


Not surprisingly, half of our survey sample say they plan to change their eating habits or physical activities and work on being healthier. Busting through typical chained-to-technology developer stereotypes (are those even a thing anymore?), Austin says he’s coupling his healthy lifestyle resolution with a commitment to spending more time enjoying the great outdoors. We’re thinking it’s time to institute a “Work Outside Day”. In spring. Or whenever it’s not freezing anymore.




Bisola is keeping up her healthy lifestyle, even if that means giving up the elevator!


Event coordinator Bisola says she plans to better her cardiovascular health while defiantly putting office busybodies in their place by taking the stairs more. “People give me dirty looks for riding the elevator one level up,” she says. “You know who you are.”





Jose is cutting out carbs and hiding his superhero persona!



Meanwhile, over in the finance department, José wants to improve his eating habits by cutting carbs. “They are my kryptonite,” he confesses. Let’s hope the bad guys don’t show up with baguettes. His plan is to drop carbs cold turkey. … Mmm, turkey on baguettes!








But not everyone is focused on food or activity. In account specialist Danielle’s case, she wants less activity and hopes to sleep more in 2018. As she explains, “I’m praying that my toddlers stay asleep at night. This hasn’t worked yet. Please pray for me.” #PrayForDanielle.




“Mi español es muy bueno.”



Demand Generation specialist Trae says he’ll dust off his rusty Spanish and become more fluent in 2018. He has plenty of motivation: his wife knows Spanish and has, on occasion, used it against him. “Since my lovely wife speaks fluent Spanish, I’d like to know when she’s insulting me.”





Thorin says he wants to be happy…but we will believe it when we see it!


Software director (and, apparently, closet logophile – who knew?) Thorin blazes his own path: while he isn’t into making resolutions, every January he instead selects a word that reflects the outlook he hopes to achieve. This year, he chose “happy” and explains that this is to offset the turmoil and anger pervading the world these last few years. Also, he adds, “because my hippy parents would be so proud.”





We’re excited to start 2018 off on the right foot at Dinova, and can’t wait to check in with everyone later in the year to see how they’re doing on their resolutions. (Or, in Thorin’s case, finding his happy place.) Cheers, everyone!