Where do you sit in a restaurant?


Spring in Wisconsin is known for Friday Night Fish Fries during Lent. They’re always, always packed! We’re making plans to go for a fish fry with family this Friday and I’m dreading it (I don’t eat fish, so I’m good with staying home and having burgers on the grill :wink: ).

When you’re dining out and it’s packed, where do you try to sit? What other considerations do you keep in mind knowing you’re going to a busy restaurant?

For those who don’t live in Wisconsin and know our deep love of fish fries, here’s a helpful tidbit: Beer battered fish fry does not count as drinking when you carry. The Bloody Mary with the beer chaser on the other hand… :rofl:

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My wife knows I like seeing the whole room, with my back to the wall. Seeing the aisle to the restrooms is a bonus. I like to hide my right (carry) side from view as much as possible.

Bonus tip: don’t let your grandkids choose where to sit. We get fast food, and they pick a table right by the ordering lane. There was no one else there, so ok, right? Nope. A group of at least 20 (yes, twenty) youths walked in, loud and boisterous. Not bothersome, just youths. It was uncomfortable for me. My wife and I had the same look in our eyes. Next time they want to pick, I’ll give them two or three choices where I’d be comfortable.

Edit: it brings up an interesting question: Would you allow someone else to choose your seating, like if your wife’s friend wants to sit a certain place? Would you speak up and say I’m uncomfortable sitting there? Are you willing to cause a small disturbance, your comfort vs social acquiescence, for a short time?


That’s a great point, @AAlan, or if you’re seated by a hostess, do you ask for a different table?

My family knows how I like to be able to see the door and/or the other exits. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s kind of a joking point with them. But they have to learn to watch people too, so I’m OK with changing things up a bit.


Back against a wall or in a corner facing the entrance if in a booth always sitting on the outside


Back to the wall, preferably a booth, where I can see the entrance, kitchen, and exit.


When I got home from Iraq I had to sit with my back against the wall. It was embarrassing telling hostesses that, so I just got into the mindset of getting carryout from most restaurants. If I go to one, I definitely don’t enjoy myself unless I’m in a corner, so I either go early or late so I don’t inconvenience the waitstaff.


I completely believe you should be able to “inconvenience” the wait staff, @James. You sacrificed and served in the military, the inconvenience of a seat with your back to a wall is absolutely nothing. And if they say otherwise, call me. I’d be happy to explain to them why they’re wrong and should be able to accommodate a seat with the back to the wall. :smirk:


I prefer to sit in a corner with my back to a wall. But I’ve practiced not to say things so as not to drive people crazy in my family. But on many occasions I just maneuver myself into a preferred position. I’ve been like that most of my adult life.

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I just don’t want to disrupt anything. I’ve never had anyone not understand or give me attitude about it. I just figure that a lot more people have done, and seen harder things than I have, and did it in a harder place. So I shouldn’t ever complain, or ask for anything. At least nothing I went through prevents me from actually walking in a building. Plus I don’t like being around the noise pollution of a restuarant during rush, too many people, and too much noise.


That’s a legitimate reason. I’m not big on large, loud crowds unless I’m at a concert. And I have to really want to see a live act to go to a concert. :slight_smile:

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Yeah, also Al Qaeda militants threw grenades at us while hiding in large crowds, because they knew we couldn’t kill them if they were next to innocents. Everytime I’m in a really large crowd I’m just waiting for a grenade to come sailing out of it. It’s stupid, but at least the range empties out around supper time, and the restuarant empties around range close!


I ALWAYS sit facing the entrance and advise the person or persons I’m with to cover my “six”
On many occasions I have politely asked the hostess for a more advantageous sitting location. This sometimes drives my wife nuts, but she accepts my safety first attitude as do all my friends. To be truthful, I think they kind of appreciate my actions as a reassuring way of knowing that they will be as safe as possible with me there. I’m not super human but I certainly improve the chances that it will not be our "LAST SUPPER.’


Near corner, of available, facing main or nearest entrance. Otherwise, with my back to the wall, if available.


I prefer to be close to the secondary exit like the kitchen but facing the primary entrance. I do not necessarily need to be against the wall, because my wife is with me and she is condition yellow whenever we are out in public as well. BEtween the two of us, we have good coverage. After having personally been in a self defense situation, I know the only way to win a gunfight is to avoid it in the first place. A hasty departure is plan A for us.