Author Topic: Dining Alone  (Read 9816 times)

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Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2013, 01:43:23 PM »
Yes, it is rude.  I sometimes dine alone and do not like the chairs at most bars/counters. I am short and having to perch on a chair where my feet don't touch the floor is really uncomfortable. I would walk out if that was the rule/only place I could sit.

This.  If you don't want to "waste" a table on a single diner, I can take my business elsewhere.

DavidH

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2013, 01:49:20 PM »
I think in a diner, where the "bar" is food centric rather than alcohol centric, it is meant for single people so that they don't take up a table.  In my experience, the service there also tends to be somewhat quicker.  I don't think it is rude for a small party to sit at the bar in that type of situation, but for a large party it seems to make more sense to take a table rather than fill the bar.

Within reason, I think it is rude for a restaurant not to accommodate a person's seating preference.  If you as a single person want a table, that seems fine, but insisting on a large booth during a busy time, probably not as reasonable.  Similarly, for the restaurant to refuse to seat a single person at a 2-top table seems rude, but refusing to seat a single person at a table for 6 during a busy time seems fine to me. 

I am curious how the reviewer "noticed" a hearing impaired person being "forced" to sit at the bar.  It seems an odd thing to notice since you'd have to see or hear that they were hearing impaired and also know that they didn't want to sit at the bar, but that the restaurant offered them no other choice. 

Sharnita

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2013, 01:53:53 PM »
A dining counter is louder because there are more people and ot tends to be centrally located. The other people at the counter make it louder than a table to yourself.

MrTango

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2013, 01:56:34 PM »
Yes, it is rude.  I sometimes dine alone and do not like the chairs at most bars/counters. I am short and having to perch on a chair where my feet don't touch the floor is really uncomfortable. I would walk out if that was the rule/only place I could sit.

This.  If you don't want to "waste" a table on a single diner, I can take my business elsewhere.

This is true, but depending on the situation, it may be adventagious for a business to lose a single patron if it means seating a group faster.

Take the example of a solo diner waiting for a table for 5 minutes and a group of 3-4 waiting for one minute.  The restaurant has 2-top & 4-top tables, all of which are occupied until a 4-top table opens up.

If I'm the manager of the restaurant, I bring the group of 3-4 back to the 4-top first, even though they haven't been waiting as long.  The solo diner would end up waiting for a 2-top to open up.

WillyNilly

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2013, 02:00:14 PM »
A dining counter is louder because there are more people and ot tends to be centrally located. The other people at the counter make it louder than a table to yourself.

This is not universally true.

Sharnita

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2013, 02:01:33 PM »
If I were one of the 3-4 group I'd indicate the other person was tjere first amd be really unimpressed with your stategy. It would simply indicate to me that next time the 4 of us were waiting we might be pushed aside to make room for a party of 6 that had arrived later.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2013, 02:04:19 PM »
Yes, it is rude.  I sometimes dine alone and do not like the chairs at most bars/counters. I am short and having to perch on a chair where my feet don't touch the floor is really uncomfortable. I would walk out if that was the rule/only place I could sit.

This.  If you don't want to "waste" a table on a single diner, I can take my business elsewhere.

POD. I used to eat out a lot alone when I was single, and again when DP was in the hospital. If a restaurant treated me as if I was an annoyance and tried to sit me at an awful table or at the bar/counter just because I was single, I'd leave - and did. However, if they treated me well, at least as well as they'd treat any table, then I tipped WELL. I've been known to tip 35% or more if the service was exceptional when I was out on my own. Singletons don't deserve to be shunted to a less desirable place just because they are alone.

MrTango

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2013, 02:06:11 PM »
If I were one of the 3-4 group I'd indicate the other person was tjere first amd be really unimpressed with your stategy. It would simply indicate to me that next time the 4 of us were waiting we might be pushed aside to make room for a party of 6 that had arrived later.

And yet restaurants do this quite frequently.

When a table opens up, it doesn't necessarily go to the next person/group waiting in line, but to the next group/person of an appropriate size for that table.

Twik

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 02:08:42 PM »
A dining counter is louder because there are more people and ot tends to be centrally located. The other people at the counter make it louder than a table to yourself.

This is not universally true.

Well, I must say that I've never encountered any that is *less* noisy than a table to yourself.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Twik

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 02:11:30 PM »
If I'm the manager of the restaurant, I bring the group of 3-4 back to the 4-top first, even though they haven't been waiting as long.  The solo diner would end up waiting for a 2-top to open up.

And you'd pretty well guarantee that I would never come back to your restaurant again.

While you may have gained a slight economic advantage in the short run, unless your restaurant is one that is constantly filled from the minute it opens to close, driving away one particular type of diner is likely to hurt in the long run.

Also consider that solo diners tend not to linger at their tables. That group of 3-4 that you gave preference to? They may still be there happily conversing without purchasing anything for the next 3 hours, while the singles sit down, eat and leave.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2013, 02:12:02 PM »
Yes, it is rude.  I sometimes dine alone and do not like the chairs at most bars/counters. I am short and having to perch on a chair where my feet don't touch the floor is really uncomfortable. I would walk out if that was the rule/only place I could sit.

This.  If you don't want to "waste" a table on a single diner, I can take my business elsewhere.

POD. I used to eat out a lot alone when I was single, and again when DP was in the hospital. If a restaurant treated me as if I was an annoyance and tried to sit me at an awful table or at the bar/counter just because I was single, I'd leave - and did. However, if they treated me well, at least as well as they'd treat any table, then I tipped WELL. I've been known to tip 35% or more if the service was exceptional when I was out on my own. Singletons don't deserve to be shunted to a less desirable place just because they are alone.

I've had to give up on a local place with great food just because they do this.  They made a big fuss of my needing to sit at the bar, then I got ignored.  Never got a glass of water let alone a menu after 20 minutes, so I left and went to a place down the block. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2013, 02:14:37 PM »
If I were one of the 3-4 group I'd indicate the other person was tjere first amd be really unimpressed with your stategy. It would simply indicate to me that next time the 4 of us were waiting we might be pushed aside to make room for a party of 6 that had arrived later.

I think this is pretty typical strategy.  It is not exactly a first come first served scenario when there are tables of varying sizes.  If I were a hostess I would certainly seat a party of four at a four-top rather than a single person, especially if the next table to open up is a 2-top, meaning the party of four has to continue to wait. 

snowdragon

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 02:16:35 PM »
If I were one of the 3-4 group I'd indicate the other person was tjere first amd be really unimpressed with your stategy. It would simply indicate to me that next time the 4 of us were waiting we might be pushed aside to make room for a party of 6 that had arrived later.

And yet restaurants do this quite frequently.

When a table opens up, it doesn't necessarily go to the next person/group waiting in line, but to the next group/person of an appropriate size for that table.

Because people put up with it, if the smaller group or singleton protest this treatment they can often get seated first....I've done it several times.

I tip well, I start someone where between 30 and 40 percent and go up or down from there,  if a place treats me like an imposition because I am single, then they don't need my money. Simple as that.  I am not less worthy of decent service because I am alone.


And if this were a chain place  I would be placing a review on Yelp and anywhere else I could as well as alerting corporate.

ACBNYC

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2013, 02:17:38 PM »
If I were one of the 3-4 group I'd indicate the other person was tjere first amd be really unimpressed with your stategy. It would simply indicate to me that next time the 4 of us were waiting we might be pushed aside to make room for a party of 6 that had arrived later.

I think this is pretty typical strategy.  It is not exactly a first come first served scenario when there are tables of varying sizes.  If I were a hostess I would certainly seat a party of four at a four-top rather than a single person, especially if the next table to open up is a 2-top, meaning the party of four has to continue to wait.

I think the same. As a solo diner, if the place were packed and a four-top opened, I wouldn't expect to be seated there, but I would expect to be seated at the first available two-top and not required to sit at the counter.

WillyNilly

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Re: Dining Alone
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2013, 02:19:24 PM »
A dining counter is louder because there are more people and ot tends to be centrally located. The other people at the counter make it louder than a table to yourself.

This is not universally true.

Well, I must say that I've never encountered any that is *less* noisy than a table to yourself.

Oh that I agree with. But its not always louder or more central.

A diner I used to go to lunch at near my old job had a counter. I often sat there... because I was alone. It was an L shape with 3 seats down at the end (bottom of the L), with the last one being against the wall. that was probably the quietest, least intrusive seat in the whole diner. As a customer I wasn't in a bad spot - I faced the staff member behind the counter, and there was a booth behind this seat, so there was a waiter coming by regularly, but being on the end with a wall to one side afforded the seat a bit more space, and it was totally silent to the one side. The other seats at the counter weren't very noisy because human ears tend to pick up sounds in front of and to the side of us better those behind us, and sitting at the counter meant ones back was to the tables, with only people to the sides and one, maybe two staff members in front behind the counter. Whereas if one was at a table, there would be many tables in front of yours, and therefore plenty of background noise to contend with.

There are absolutely valid reasons to not want to sit at the bar/counter, I'm not saying there aren't. But its not always some sort of second class seating. For the same reasons its not desirable to sit all along side by side when in a group (its hard to hear one another), sitting at a counter when alone is sometimes more pleasant.