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Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

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Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Old 01-03-15, 02:46 PM
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Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

This happened to me yesterday. Wife and I go to one of our favorite little greasy spoons. Small, family owned, cash only kind of place. Approximately 10 booths and room for about 12 people at the counter. There's no reservations, waiting list, hostess, or anything. Parties wait in line outside the door for a booth or counter space to free up and then you take it.

Wife and I walk up. There are about 10 people in line. I have no idea what the makeup of this line is. I don't know how big the parties are or anything. I look through the window and I see that there are two empty seats at the counter. I address the line, "There are two seats at the counter. Anyone a party of two?" Woman at the front of the line says, "We are waiting for those seats." Which doesn't really compute in my brain but I just obediently go to the end of the line. After thinking for about one minute I go back to the front of the line and I say, "If you're waiting for the counter why don't you go take it?" To which she says, "We are a party of five and we're waiting for the counter."

I reply, "That doesn't work. You could wait all day for five consecutive spots at the counter to open up."

She replies, "We are a party of five and we are waiting for the large booth in the back and the five spaces at the counter, whichever one opens up first."

Before I tell you what happened next I want to hear some feedback. This is not how a line at a diner works. Has anyone ever tried to pull shit like this or seen it happen?
Old 01-03-15, 02:53 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

You should have gone ahead in at that point. The restaurant doesn't want two counter stools sitting empty for the time it takes for the other three to open up.

Unless the restaurant is run by idiots, then they'll take the party of five's side. In which case, you never go back to the restaurant again, because it is run by idiots.
Old 01-03-15, 03:02 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Fuck the bitch. There is no hostess or actual waiting list. If she and her party are too stupid to take the seats as they become available, then go ahead and take them yourself. She did say that she was waiting on either a booth or counter, whichever came first. Let her have the booth.
Old 01-03-15, 03:14 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

A greasy spoon with no hostess? If you're in a line, when two seats open up you wait a few seconds for the people ahead of you to take them. After that they're fair game.
Old 01-03-15, 03:23 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Yeah, I would've taken the seats after addressing it with them. Not only does it affect people behind them, having to wait longer, it will also affect the business. The restaurant could've had those seats filled, orders taken and you guys out there possibly, before that booth opened up. Turnover is key in places like that to generate revenue.

If it is first come, first served type of place where nobody is seating you, waiting for the spot they want is bullshit. Wait for a booth and let everyone else behind them go ahead until theirs opens up. You were completely in the right if you took the seats. That's one of the sucky thing about being a larger party. You have to suck it up and take what you get in a dining situation such as this. No futzing around trying to get he perfect situation for yourselves.
Old 01-03-15, 03:26 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen View Post
You should have gone ahead in at that point. The restaurant doesn't want two counter stools sitting empty for the time it takes for the other three to open up.

Unless the restaurant is run by idiots, then they'll take the party of five's side. In which case, you never go back to the restaurant again, because it is run by idiots.
This.
Old 01-03-15, 03:56 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

I'm with everyone else.

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Before I tell you what happened next I want to hear some feedback.
Now I'm on the edge of my seat. My guess is there was some fisticuffs involved.
Old 01-03-15, 04:00 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Fuck those entitled d-bags. Hopefully, you just grabbed the seats and told them to go fuck themselves. If you want the seats, go fucking sit down and wait for the others to open. Fuck.

Hearing about all these fuckheads in the world, I need to post this again:

Old 01-03-15, 04:00 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
She replies, "We are a party of five and we are waiting for the large booth in the back and the five spaces at the counter, whichever one opens up first."
My understanding is the counter is available for a single customer or a few customers so they are not taking up a booth or table like a party. It would be like a bar in that regard.
Old 01-03-15, 04:19 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

I'm with the rest of the group. You can't leave the seats open in hopes 3 more open up. Getting 5 in a row is unrealistic and unfair to the owner. Greasy spoons by nature are quick turnaround type places. The owner relies on it and the patrons go there to get in and out quick. Someone expecting the place to come to a halt while they keep their options open are d'bags. I would have just sat down telling them its open to whoever will take it.
Old 01-03-15, 04:23 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Sucks to be that family.
Old 01-03-15, 04:27 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

So she replied, "We are a party of five and we are waiting for the large booth in the back and the five spaces at the counter, whichever one opens up first." And after that she turned it around on me with a "What's the problem can't you wait to eat? Is it so important that you get your breakfast right away?"

I could not abide this any longer. I was so incensed that she would turn it on me and try to make me look like I'm impatient or rude just because I want the two spaces at the counter. She was such a glorious fucking ****. Totally rude and entitled, but when I simply want to follow the rules and sit down she twists it to make me look like a prick. So I decided to show her what a prick looks like.

I sized her up. It was the day after the Rose Bowl and she's in her brand new Oregon sweat shirt. And at this point I don't want to eat there anymore and be in the presence of this bitch. So I started off with a "Fuck off Oregon." Followed by, "You suck. Here. Have the whole place to yourself, I'm leaving. Go the fuck back to Oregon. Locals rule, tourists suck! Places like this are ruined by tourists like you. Go fuck yourself." She gave me a sarcastic "Happy New Year to you" when I was half way to my car and I gave her one more "fuck off".

In the end I was pretty pleased with my performance. I wish I'd said something like "The new year will be happy once you leave town" or something a bit more clever but I was really heated. I just wanted to shovel a pile of shit down this woman's mouth. People like her make the world miserable, so I hope I gave her the same amount of misery right back.
Old 01-03-15, 04:27 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Sucks to be that family.
And it wasn't a family it was a group of adults.
Old 01-03-15, 04:29 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
So she replied, "We are a party of five and we are waiting for the large booth in the back and the five spaces at the counter, whichever one opens up first." And after that she turned it around on me with a "What's the problem can't you wait to eat? Is it so important that you get your breakfast right away?"

I could not abide this any longer. I was so incensed that she would turn it on me and try to make me look like I'm impatient or rude just because I want the two spaces at the counter. She was such a glorious fucking ****. Totally rude and entitled, but when I simply want to follow the rules and sit down she twists it to make me look like a prick. So I decided to show her what a prick looks like.

I sized her up. It was the day after the Rose Bowl and she's in her brand new Oregon sweat shirt. And at this point I don't want to eat there anymore. "Fuck off Oregon. You suck. Here. Have the whole place to yourself, I'm leaving. Go the fuck back to Oregon. Locals rule, tourists suck! Places like this are ruined by tourists like you. Go fuck yourself." She gave me a sarcastic "Happy New Year to you" when I was half way to my car and I gave her one more "fuck off".

In the end I was pretty pleased with my performance. I wish I'd said something like "The new year will be happy once you leave town" or something a bit more clever but I was really heated. I just wanted to shovel a pile of shit down this woman's mouth. People like her make the world miserable, so I hope I gave her the same amount of misery right back.
Old 01-03-15, 04:38 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Yes, I went beyond Fuck You into the realm of Fuck Me. I fucked myself in my rage. But I didn't want to be in the same restaurant with her. It's a small place. Being in there together would have been bad. As I said to my wife afterward, "Sorry we had to leave, but I can't abide that shit and if we'd stayed I would have escalated it." I get to eat there all the time, let the baby have her bottle and hope she hops the next plane out of town. Might not go back...too touristy.
Old 01-03-15, 04:43 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Yes, I went beyond Fuck You into the realm of Fuck Me. I fucked myself in my rage. But I didn't want to be in the same restaurant with her. It's a small place. Being in there together would have been bad. As I said to my wife afterward, "Sorry we had to leave, but I can't abide that shit and if we'd stayed I would have escalated it." I get to eat there all the time, let the baby have her bottle and hope she hops the next plane out of town. Might not go back...too touristy.
Where is this place? Somewhere in Pasadena?
Old 01-03-15, 04:47 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

You screwed the proprietor out of those 2 meals and yourself out of your time. Easier said than done once its over but you were in the right and resorting to just cursing her out makes you look like the bad guy. When in doubt grab the nearest waitress or anyone at the register; " they are a party of 5 and no one else wants the two at the counter, can we sit there?" Boom, problem solved. If they said no, then you know they suck and you don't want to give them your money
Old 01-03-15, 04:47 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Bleh.
Old 01-03-15, 04:48 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

No fisticuffs.
Old 01-03-15, 04:48 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

I hope I never go to this restaurant, it seems to draw the worst people in the world to it.
Old 01-03-15, 04:50 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Not only that, you could have calmly called her on her shit, calling out her self-entitlement and the fact that she clearly thinks no one else exists in the universe, and it would have been amusing.
Old 01-03-15, 05:02 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
You screwed the proprietor out of those 2 meals and yourself out of your time. Easier said than done once its over but you were in the right and resorting to just cursing her out makes you look like the bad guy. When in doubt grab the nearest waitress or anyone at the register; " they are a party of 5 and no one else wants the two at the counter, can we sit there?" Boom, problem solved. If they said no, then you know they suck and you don't want to give them your money
Yes, I could have done exactly that and sat there happily eating my chilli cheese omelet fulfilled in my belief that she wasn't keying my car at that very moment.
Old 01-03-15, 05:05 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Originally Posted by van der graaf View Post
Where is this place? Somewhere in Pasadena?
Not in Pasadena. Beach town where teams and fans usually stay when in the area for bowl games. We're actually about a 90 minute drive from Pasadena, but in years when the BCS championship was at the Rose Bowl we would get mobbed. Teams, coaches, staff, cheerleaders, booster club, fucking everyone.
Old 01-03-15, 05:08 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Manhattan Beach area then, I would guess, or maybe SM...Wherever it is, I was born and raised in THE most touristy part of LA, so can feel your annoyance and pain. Still, you should have handled it better than that, man!!

Last edited by van der graaf; 01-03-15 at 05:13 PM.
Old 01-03-15, 05:16 PM
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Re: Diner etiquette regarding sitting at the counter

Further away than that. It's in Orange County. LA is a shithole. Fans stay over an hour away from the game venue, partly because of the beach and Disneyland, but mostly because LA offers nothing and does nothing to accommodate teams and fans. So Pasadena gets the game and we get the idiots.

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