Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"Free seating" tables

Have certain large tables for "free seating," anyone may sit there w/o infringing on privacy.
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I've noticed that in restaurants/cafeterias, you will often find one loner at a four or six-person table, during a crowded dinner hour, and everyone seems embarrassed to interrupt their studying/reading/whatever to ask "may i sit here." furthermore, should some brave soul venture to, the sitter then feels uncomfortable responding "no, i'd rather eat alone, thanks." So i propose: have several long tables that are "free seating." One can "save" a couple seats for pals on the way, but no more; and it's assumed than anyone can take an open seat w/o offending or needing to ask. Otherwise, have a few smaller tables around the room for those who would rather sit alone or prefer a more intimate group dinner.
Urania, Oct 09 2001

Dining Out - the German Way http://www.german-w...om/german/dine.html
"It is common for complete strangers to sit at the same table when a restaurant is crowded." [prometheus, Oct 09 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       baked in Europe.
prometheus, Oct 09 2001
  

       There *may* be a reason for that...
hippo, Oct 09 2001
  

       Waugs, I don't think 'family style' dining is what Urania is talking about --- in my experience, 'family style' means that the food is brought to the table on platters, and you serve yourself from the platter, but your table is still typically solely occupied by you and your friends-or-whatever.   

       Some restaurants where I live have a long table or counter (like a bar, or against a wall or window) where people can eat. There is no social taboo against sitting down next to a stranger. Usually, these counters are used by the lunch trade, and evening diners sit at the individual tables (which do have the taboo). This would seem to bake Urania's suggestion, though only for midday meals.
wiml, Oct 11 2001
  

       Must be a cultural difference. At the Thai and Chinese places I eat at here in Seattle, family style definitely refers to the method of serving, not to the seating customs.
wiml, Oct 11 2001
  

       [UnaBubba] <homer>Mmmmmmm... Bizarre Fruitcake...</homer>
hippo, Oct 11 2001
  

       There are several restaurants here in Portland, Oregon that offer such a seating arrangement, and in fact seat most customers in this haphazard way. I've met some fascinating people at these restaurants, and some damned stupid ones, too.
fnord_23, Oct 11 2001
  

       Former Logging Camps turned into Restaurants serving the same fare as Loggers shared make for a fun feast.
thumbwax, Oct 12 2001
  

       I remember that Shakey's Pizza used to do this. You'd sit at long benches, and they were so long that, usually, a few groups would be at one.   

       There's also the "lunch counter" where people sit at a counter. They still have that at a lot of places.   

       I've sat with strangers. I don't think it's a big deal. You might talk with them, but usually, you don't chat too much. That's fine with me.
wildgift, Dec 08 2005
  
      
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