Friday, March 27, 2009

Sitting in a Booth

The majority of restaurant goers tend to prefer sitting in a booth to sitting at a table. I have touched on this subject slightly in another blog, "Why You Sit Where You Do," but I would like to elaborate on this particular seating preference.

First, when asked at the door how many people are in your party and whether you prefer to sit in a smoking or non-smoking section, answer the questions and then say, "we'd like to sit in a booth, please." If you do this, you won't make things more complicated for whoever is seating you when they take you to a table and you tell them that you don't want to sit there. If you happen to forget to say that, however, and you absolutely must have a booth to enjoy your meal, please be polite about asking for a booth. There have been far too many times when I have taken a party to a table, only to be glowered at and looked at as if I am stupid for seating them at a table when "there's a booth RIGHT there!"

If you apologize, it makes a world of a difference in the seating host or hostess's opinion of you. I know that not everyone cares about what people think of them, but the impression you give the people serving you will often impact the quality of service that you receive.

Second, some people simply can't fit in booths. I am not saying this to be mean in any way, it is simply a fact. If you happen to be a particularly large individual and you ask for a booth, please realize that a great deal of booths do not allow you to scoot them one way or another to make it more comfortable for you. Also, please don't get aggravated with the person who seated you for your discomfort. They did not intentionally take you to a particularly small booth, they are all about the same size (although there often a few that will scoot). Remember, you asked for it.

Most seating hosts and hostesses will automatically try to take people with canes, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and weight problems to a table because it is assumed that a table will be more comfortable than a booth for these individuals. If you fall into any of these categories, please realize that you are being taken to a table almost automatically only because the staff wants you to be comfortable. That being said, if you truly will be most comfortable in a booth, please say so up front.

As for people with babies, please realize that this could mean sacrificing dining in a booth. In the restaurant I work in currently, we only have nine booths that we are allowed to place high chairs or baby nets at the end of; the remaining thirteen booths are risen and we are therefore not permitted to add anything onto the end. If you have a baby carrier and request a booth, you will either have to wait for a booth that sits at ground level, or, especially if you're at a restaurant like mine on a busy night or at one that has all risen booths, concede to eat at a table. It is very irritating to seat someone who insists on a particular, risen booth who has a baby carrier with them. As I stated earlier, many booths are not able to be moved, so please don't get mad at the seating host or hostess when you can't move the table to get your baby carrier wedged between the back of the booth and the table.

I once seated a party consisting of two people and a baby in a carrier. They were so determined to sit in a booth that one of the people in the party sat on the same side as the carrier and was literally falling out of the booth because there wasn't enough room. That just doesn't make any sense to me! In my mind, when you decide to have a baby, you decide to make certain sacrifices for the gift of this wonderful new gift of life to provide for. Is sitting in a booth really too much of a sacrifice to make?

Please take all of this into consideration the next time you decide that you want to sit in a booth.


  1. I'm all about booth's over tables. WoOt W00t!

  2. An interesting look into an industry with which I'm entirely unfamiliar. I'm certainly pro-booth myself.

  3. this all makes sense, lately when we go out to eat we are always taken to a table. my mom is now on a cane, and i never thought about it till now, i am sure it is easier for her.

  4. It also is risky to seat anyone young enough to require a high chair at the end of a booth. People are running around carrying large trays of hot food and cold drinks. Adding large obstacles to the aisle is dangerous. I have seen near tragedies occur because of this. Be a good parent and keep your baby as far from the aisle as possible.