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Jul 11, 2010 07:11 PM

Have you ever asked to be moved to the bar partway through lunch?

I went to one of my favorite chain restaurants for lunch today. Usually on Sunday it's dead in the dining room so I can sit at a booth and read, but today it was really really busy, because people wanted to watch soccer on the tv screens. I told the host I was by myself and asked if it was ok to sit in the dining room and he said it was and they put me in a booth for two. (I didn't realize right away just how busy it was; I didn't realize until I was seated and had ordered my food).

I noticed while I was eating there were people at the front waiting for tables. My waiter was really nice and wasn't trying to rush me (he even asked if I wanted a drink refill) but I felt bad about taking up a booth for two so I ate as fast as I could and I also tipped him really well (I gave him what I estimated he typically would get from two people at lunchtime). I felt funny reading my book when it was that busy so I didn't take my book out.

I was thinking later I didn't enjoy lunch as much this time, that I had felt the need to rush to finish. Maybe I should have asked to be transferred to the bar area? I could perhaps have had a more leisurely lunch and not suffered from guilty feelings about taking up a table for two. On the other hand that could lead to logistical problems, eg., how do you then tip the original waiter? (I know maybe I should have thought to sit at the bar right from the beginning, but the host did say it would be ok to sit in the dining room).

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  1. From your post the only issues are from your perception. Only you made yourself feel "guilty" Any resultant issues were of your issues, if you had acted upon them. Why look for issues? Aren't there enough otherwise, in every day world?

    1 Reply
    1. No. (to the title Q)

      I'm sure there were 4-tops with only 3 people, etc. so occupying a 2-top by yourself was and is fine. At least you learned from this experience that if you see a dining room fairly busy, and you prefer to dine leisurely, to sit at the bar.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. No, I haven't and of course you could have. It's your lunch, your money, you should be as comfortable as humanly possible.

          On the tip -- just seek out the original waiter and hand him the tip. Otherwise, add it to your credit card bill.

          1. To answer the OP's question - no, I've never asked to be moved partway through a meal nor would it ever occur to me to ask to do so for any reason. I would work to the assumption that if the place was not happy for me to be sitting there, then they would not have seated me there.

            FWIW, I had dinner on my own some weeks ago. I'd made the reservation and was glad I had, as it was busy (only two or three tables vacant). They had a couple of two tops "in the back room" but cleared a four top for me "in front" - when I asked if they were sure, they said "Yes, you booked".