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Old 01-13-2018, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CO
310 posts, read 101,362 times
Reputation: 1138

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakealope View Post
Why do restaurants seat customers close together when the restaurant is not full or busy? This drives me crazy. Last week my husband and I met a friend for Sunday lunch. When we arrived the restaurant was not busy. I think we were the first customers that day. After we had been there for about 20 minutes, the hostess seated a woman with a baby and another small child right beside us. The baby was crying and screaming. The mom and one of the wait staff were trying to distract the baby but it continued crying and shrieking. My husband, my friend and I looked around and there was still almost no one in the restaurant. So why did they seat this woman and her kids right next to us?

Some of my co-workers were talking about this very topic last week. We were comparing notes and everyone has notice the same pattern. It's really bad when people have screaming and crying kids and they are seated right next to you.

I used to wait tables years ago and customers were always spread throughout the wait staff areas. So if the restaurant was not crowded, people were somewhat spread out so that the different waiters had customers.
Is there some reason you didn't ask to move, or just move and let the wait staff know you've moved? I did that once... no prob.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CO
310 posts, read 101,362 times
Reputation: 1138
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
For a few reasons. 1. When there are only a few guests, putting them together creates a busier and more social atmosphere that most restaurants want. 2. It keeps other areas cleaner and needing less maintenance. 3. Wait staff are assigned sections and they often seat by section and if so-and-so is on break at the moment they're going to put you in the section where you will get quicker service if it means it is more crowded, etc.
When the restaurant's desires take precedence over the customer's desires, the customers walk. Not good for business, is it!
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,064 posts, read 24,620,553 times
Reputation: 24439
Quote:
Originally Posted by dblackga View Post
I had a squirmy, active kid in a booth behind me -- I was pretty good at ignoring him until the little brat took a squirt ketchup bottle and squirted ketchup in my hair, dripping onto my suit jacket. I was speechless furious (which is rare!) The parents LAUGHED, and the father said, "Oh, relax, it's just ketchup!" I couldn't go back to work with ketchup in my hair or dripping down my jacket. The server brought me a towel to the restroom as I tried to clean up, and said that the manager of the restaurant brought "to go" boxes to their table and said, "OK, you're done. Here's your bill, please leave now." The restaurant comped both our meals and brought a free dessert, too. I left the waitress a HUGE tip, because I'm pretty sure the family behind me didn't leave one as they were being tossed out of the restaurant. :-)
That's disgusting behavior on the part of the child and -- more so -- on the part of the parents.

That -- in bold -- is a classic reaction for someone who is mortified... but unable to accept responsibility and say the simple words "I'm sorry." Good for the manager (and for you; you got the respect that you deserved) for throwing them out.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:55 AM
 
156 posts, read 52,911 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Gil View Post
When the restaurant's desires take precedence over the customer's desires, the customers walk. Not good for business, is it!
I agree

And yes I have walked out a few times over problems with seating. Its pretty rare ... but has happened.

The customer and their wallet hold the trump card. Sadly many patrons take the passive approach and allow the restaurant to take advantage and exploit that weakness.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:53 PM
Status: "I love Dear Leader!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: USA, love-it or leave-it Baby!!!!
14,281 posts, read 14,428,985 times
Reputation: 9812
Probably easier to serve with people seated close together.

But yeah, the screaming babies/kids thing can be very irritating.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: SC
7,795 posts, read 4,591,117 times
Reputation: 10912
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Maybe there was only the one waitperson (short-staffed)?
I think it may be this... and the fact that if everyone is grouped together, you don't have to continually clean the other spaces.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,308 posts, read 9,614,300 times
Reputation: 20410
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Unless theyíre traveling, they can always get a babysitter. If they can afford to eat out, thatís something they can also afford. Really young children usually donít have the patience to go to a sit-down restaurant, and thereís no reason to subject them, never mind their fellow diners, to the experience until theyíre old enough to handle it. That also goes for things like concerts and non-kid oriented movies.

They could also consider going to a place that caters to young kids like Chuck E. Cheese. Anyone who is bothered by kids goes to such spots at their own risk.
How are young children supposed to learn how to behave in public if they're never allowed to leave their house? By the time i was 3, I would sit in a restaurant and color. I didn't get up and run around. I didn't play with food. I certainly did not pour ketchup on someone. I STILL wouldn't be able to sit down if I did that!

Did my parents take us to 5 star restaurants? Nope. We went to places like Pizza Hut, dinners, and family restaurants. We were told if we misbehaved, we wouldn't go to a restaurant until we were 18 or old enough to pay and get ourselves there....I can count on one hand the number of times any of us kids misbehaved. We weren't allowed be bratty EVER. Both of my parents grew up with military dads and behaving was just what you did. There was no discussion about it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:28 PM
 
544 posts, read 269,989 times
Reputation: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
How are young children supposed to learn how to behave in public if they're never allowed to leave their house? By the time i was 3, I would sit in a restaurant and color. I didn't get up and run around. I didn't play with food. I certainly did not pour ketchup on someone. I STILL wouldn't be able to sit down if I did that!

Did my parents take us to 5 star restaurants? Nope. We went to places like Pizza Hut, dinners, and family restaurants. We were told if we misbehaved, we wouldn't go to a restaurant until we were 18 or old enough to pay and get ourselves there....I can count on one hand the number of times any of us kids misbehaved. We weren't allowed be bratty EVER. Both of my parents grew up with military dads and behaving was just what you did. There was no discussion about it.
Clearly not every parent is AWOL on child discipline out, nor is every young child unable to handle a sit down restaurant experience. But it happens often enough that I think it should not be the norm, except for Chuck E. Cheese type places that do cater to smaller kids (and as said above, if thatís an issue for the adult in question, they shouldnít go to a place like Chuck E. Cheese; I donít). A good way to know if youngsters can handle this is to take them to kid friendly places a few times first and see how they do. Problem is, some parents donít care, while others (like the ketchup folks) seemingly get some kind of passive aggressive joy about foisting their bratty kids on others.

As for me, Iíve had enough meals in nicer places spoiled by bad experiences of this type that I default to expecting a problem is likely if little kids are seated near me. Sorry, but lifeís too short, and if Iím paying my hard earned bucks for this, I donít want to put up with a potential problem ó and donít have to.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,472 posts, read 3,578,207 times
Reputation: 15294
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsuperfly View Post
2:30 is generally the dead time in most restaurants. There was very likely only 1-2 servers still working the floor.

Most will probably ask: Well, what difference does that make? Yes, you are there to enjoy your meal, but so are the other diners. You also want to pay as little as possible for that meal/get the best value. That requires restaurants to not have excess staff on when they don't need it. Making sure that all diners receive equal treatment means making sure that the server can provide the best possible service to all diners. Meaning don't have them run all over the place if it can be helped.
Placing someone one table over is not an undue hardship on the server -- they aren't being asked to move 100 ft. to the other side of the restaurant, for pete's sake.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,308 posts, read 9,614,300 times
Reputation: 20410
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Clearly not every parent is AWOL on child discipline out, nor is every young child unable to handle a sit down restaurant experience. But it happens often enough that I think it should not be the norm, except for Chuck E. Cheese type places that do cater to smaller kids (and as said above, if thatís an issue for the adult in question, they shouldnít go to a place like Chuck E. Cheese; I donít). A good way to know if youngsters can handle this is to take them to kid friendly places a few times first and see how they do. Problem is, some parents donít care, while others (like the ketchup folks) seemingly get some kind of passive aggressive joy about foisting their bratty kids on others.

As for me, Iíve had enough meals in nicer places spoiled by bad experiences of this type that I default to expecting a problem is likely if little kids are seated near me. Sorry, but lifeís too short, and if Iím paying my hard earned bucks for this, I donít want to put up with a potential problem ó and donít have to.
There will ALWAYS be parents who don't care and let their kids do whatever. You can't control other people. There's always the option of going to places that aren't super child friendly or staying home if children really bother you when you're out.

There are plenty of butthead adults out there, too. Many cause problems at restaurants. Many don't know what an inside voice is. Many drink until they're idiots. Some just think the world revolves around them. It's an imperfect world. These are first world problems though.
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