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Old 01-11-2018, 11:45 AM
 
393 posts, read 393,225 times
Reputation: 700

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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.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,184 posts, read 25,179,207 times
Reputation: 24925
Maybe there was only the one waitperson (short-staffed)?
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:12 PM
 
155 posts, read 58,049 times
Reputation: 345
Me = have never worked as a server in a restaurant ... but that seating choice they made makes me question their decision also. The young kids should have made it a no brainer to seat them at a spot further away.

I also am not a fan of closed areas either: oh the patio is not open for seating or that nice section with the more comfy looking booths is closed off ?? If your front doors are open ... the whole restaurant should be open.

Yea I get that patio seating is seasonal - but if a patron does want to sit there, that request should be accommodated if possible.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,181 posts, read 51,122,199 times
Reputation: 82123
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Maybe there was only the one waitperson (short-staffed)?
^^^ This, and some restaurants are "divided" by section. They will fill section by section ...
You can (almost) ALWAYS pick your own table...
In your case, OP - I would probably ask to move us or move them...

Last edited by elnina; 01-11-2018 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,765 posts, read 38,891,000 times
Reputation: 48480
Just request a different table if open ones are available.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:58 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,181 posts, read 51,122,199 times
Reputation: 82123
^^^ Yeah. That's more polite
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
2,998 posts, read 1,531,463 times
Reputation: 9957
You can definitely request a different table. The reason they seat people close together is usually because certain stations are considered to be open while others are not.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:01 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
14,702 posts, read 16,291,152 times
Reputation: 27977
My guess is that they are short staffed. As waitstaff arrives, they would open more seating sections.

Many restaurants will accomodate you if you ask politely to be seated in another area and they will just direct the present waitstaff to serve you even though you are not technically in their section.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:18 PM
 
393 posts, read 393,225 times
Reputation: 700
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Just request a different table if open ones are available.
We already had our drinks and salads and were eating by the time they sat the woman with the kids.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:19 PM
 
393 posts, read 393,225 times
Reputation: 700
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Maybe there was only the one waitperson (short-staffed)?
Not that day. The wait staff was standing around doing nothing because they were near us. I think the restaurant was not busy that day because it was about 15 degrees outside, which is unusual for our area.
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