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An Essay on Banquette Seating in Restaurants

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Kind of funny, but I agree that tables are getting way too close.

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnis...

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  1. Banquettes remind me of McDonald's. Or Panera. Nothing I want to sit at.

    1. That was a cute article.

      It is funny, I hate them here in the states but when I travel overseas the tables are WAY closer together than we could ever get away with here in the states and I don't mind so much there - though I notice how close they are every time and am worries about how I'm going to get into my seat without knocking over a glass with my butt.

      1. Perfect timing, as I just last night had dinner at a banquette. It wasn't uncomfortable, but my extreme proximity to the couple at the next table made me unable to ignore how long it took them to touch their cheese plate, and if they weren't going to eat it, maybe I could eat it. (I did not eat it. We got our own cheese plate, and we ate it right away.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: small h

          Small H,

          Thank you for pointing me to this thread. I just read my wife the first half of the linked essay and she and I feel that we could have written it ourselves.

          1. re: Monch

            You're most welcome. You can hit the "report" button on your other thread and request that it be deleted (that's more effective than writing a note to the moderators within the thread itself).

        2. Thanks for posting, I agree wholeheartedly. And I'll add that, somehow, the seats on one side of said banquettes are never at proper dining height.

          1. Too true. And MsDiP is right about seat height, I can't sit on the banquette (at 5'5") because my chin or boobs will be on the table.

            So what's proper etiquette for squeezing in: direct your butt at the adjoining table, or direct your face (with its potentially intrusive eyes/need for interaction) that way? :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: DuchessNukem

              Good question-
              I direct my butt; I guess I feel that otherwise I'm like "hi how are you" with a silly grin on my face. Seems like it's best to pretend we really aren't sitting right next to one another.

            2. The closeness of tables also happen with regular seating.

              Banquettes are just not comfortable; most of the time they are not high enough, they look ok with the cushions, but when you sit down; you are 2, 3 inches below.

              As for etiquette, the table should be pulled allowing the person to sit down without having to squeeze between the tables; but if that is not feasible, then, you present your backside to the other table after excusing your self and making eye contact with the people next to you.