The Restaurant Seating Rule


"Always give people the best you have, not the least they will accept."

     This is a practice, alas, not always followed.

     How many times has a restaurant host or hostess seated you at the worst available table in the house?  You are led past perfectly fine tables to some tiny nook next to the kitchen door or just outside the restroom.

     If you’re the docile type,  you accept this, leaving the better tables to those who insist upon them.  If you object, then you are immediately shown to a better table, which, of course, is the purpose of the practice — to reserve the better tables for those who will not accept less.

     But consider the result of this practice.  It ensures that everybody who enters the restaurant has a less than agreeable experience.  Every customer who walks through the door is denigrated by being shown to an inferior table.  Those who accept the table — the majority — then must watch other, later arrivals, being shown to better tables.  Nor are the later arrivals ecstatic, for they, too, are being shown to the worst available table.

     Think what a better impression the restaurant would make by showing each new arrival to the best available table.  There would be, on each person’s part, a sense that one is special and appreciated — a valued customer.  Even late arrivals, escorted to less attractive tables, would recognize that they are being shown to the best table available.  For everyone, the dining experience would begin on an agreeable note.

     Simply put, it is good practice to always put your best foot forward.  To give people the least they will accept is just a systematic way to deny everyone your best.   

~~ Robert Brault

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