Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Why You Sit Where You Do
When you go to a restaurant that isn't crowded in the least bit and ask for a table, there is a reason that you are taken to the specific table that the host or hostess seats you at. Many people wonder why they may be taken so far from the door at times or into a certain area. The reason you sit where you do is because the host or hostess is required to follow a certain rotation. In a restaurant, the tables are divided up into sections and each section is assigned to a server. In order to maintain equality in tip dispersion throughout the wait staff, whoever is seating customers is responsible for taking them to tables rotating from one server's section to another. If the servers on duty have sections toward the back of the restaurant, that is where the seating host or hostess will take you.
If you would like to sit specifically in a booth or at a table, please let the host or hostess know up front. If you don't, you may end up walking to a section that is in a completely different area than where you want to sit. If you don't say where you want to sit and are taken to a place that isn't exactly where you had in mind, if it won't affect your dining experience in any negative manner, please sit there and be appreciative. It is very frustrating for a host or hostess to take a party to a table and have them glower and huff at the table instead of just saying, "If it's not a problem, can we please sit over there instead? This seems too cramped" or something along those lines.
One more thing that would help give your dining experience a more enjoyable start would be to specify your preferred area to be seated. Hosts and hostesses understand that some people prefer certain areas, but it makes life much easier for both parties if that preference is stated up front. Often times, I have witnessed restaurant goers request to sit at a booth then, once taken to a booth, tell the person seating them that they don't want the booth that they have been taken to. It is not as big of a deal if the restaurant is slow at the time, even if it is a little frustrating for the seating host or hostess. However, if you are arriving at a restaurant during a busy time, don't expect the luxury to be particularly picky about where you sit if you are also expecting to be seated in a decent amount of time.
I apologize if this seems like a rant, but as a restaurant employee, I have been unpleasantly surprised by just how rude some people can be. It bothers me that these rude people, the people that just tell the host or hostess "no" and just expect him or her to know exactly where they want to go without saying anything, the people who request something specific and then yell at and insult the intellect of the staff when someone is seated before them, these people make the staff irritable when someone requests something specific. If people would simply treat the people serving them with a little respect, they would make the dining experience much easier and enjoyable for all involved.